Studies have shown that stress and anxiety have negative health effects on children in the hospital. We partnered with Honda to create Project Courage, an initiative to alleviate stress for young patients and give them a source of joy during their hospital stays.
At the heart of Project Courage is the Honda Shogo, a small electric vehicle made just for hospitalized children that allows them to drive themselves to their treatments or procedures. The Honda Shogo turns what could be a stressful journey into a fun ride, giving children a sense of control.
The electric vehicle has power controls, a go/stop mechanism on the steering wheel, and an adjustable speed of 1–5 miles per hour, which is controlled by a handler such as a nurse or caregiver. The Shogo was built without doors so that it would be safely and easily accessible to all patients, even those with mobility challenges. Features to make the child’s experience more fun include a toy bucket in front for items the child would like to bring along, cup holders, a horn with different encouraging sounds, and a customizable license-plate slot that allows each kid to color in their own name plate.
We conceived the idea for the Honda Shogo and then
documented the process, all the way through to the very first hospital ride.
Our client challenged us to think up an idea more powerful than a charity donation, and that’s exactly what we did. Project Courage is about harnessing the talent and ingenuity of Honda engineers to make a difference in the lives of kids in need. This is a project that had a profound effect on everyone involved every step of the way, from the engineers who designed the vehicle to the kids whose hospital stays were made a little more fun and a little happier.
Our idea was shaped by two key insights: First, reducing stress for young patients would positively impact their health. Second, the determination, creativity, and engineering know-how that Honda engineers bring to their automotive work could be used to help young patients. To bring the Honda Shogo to life required a unique collaboration between a team of engineers at American Honda Motor Company, Inc., and a team of medical professionals at Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOC).
The good this project is doing is far-reaching and ongoing. The project was the first step in a national initiative by Honda to bring joy to hospitalized children and will be rolled out in participating hospitals across the country in the upcoming year.
Medical professionals have seen dramatic results from the use of the Honda Shogo. Dr. Peter Yu says, “You can really see the impact that the Honda Shogo has made in a patient when you speak to them after a ride. They have more energy and excitement. It is a great tool to help engage patients and get them back to full health.” According to a surgical nurse, ”The Honda Shogo has been a wonderful way to help get kids moving again.” This is only the beginning for Project Courage. More vehicles are being rolled out across the country this year, as Honda remains committed to improving the lives of young patients.
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