The World's First Electric Suction Toothbrush G100, Seen from the perspective of an assistive device expert
On August 22nd, Bluereo met with Mr. Yang Sun-Sik, the Director of the Seoul Northeast Assistive Device Center, who had collaborated with Bluereo on the development of the Electric Suction Toothbrush G100.
We asked him several questions related to the G100, and his responses were as follows:
1. Could you please provide a brief introduction about yourself and the Seoul Northeast Assistive Device Center?
We are the Seoul Northeast Assistive Device Center, serving approximately 392,000 residents with disabilities in Seoul. Our center specializes in providing services such as consultations, assessments, rentals, custom manufacturing, and promotion related to assistive technology.
The professionals at our center are nationally certified in assistive technology and provide services as experts in assistive devices.
2. Do caregivers who visit the center frequently have any common inconveniences when using regular toothbrushes?
Our center receives many visitors with swallowing difficulties, a condition known as dysphagia. While most people can effortlessly swallow saliva, individuals with disabilities, particularly those with neurological conditions, often face challenges due to cognitive issues, resulting in continuous drooling. Furthermore, some may even changes in the structure of their oral cavity. So, it is quite challenging to eat and even put a toothbrush in their mouths.
Due to the changes in their oral structures, food particles tend to stick, so the importance of oral hygiene for individuals with difficulty swallowing saliva has continued to be emphasized. Caregivers of bedridden patients or cerebral palsy often encounter significant challenges in oral care. They commonly describe these difficulties as applying toothpaste to gauze and assisting with manual brushing, or even using phrases like applying toothpaste to a toothbrush and then making them eat.
In this regard, Bluereo's G100 is a great product that can alleviate the existing challenges.
3. Was there a particular reason or motivation for your involvement in the development of the G100?
The Bluereo’s CEO, Seungmin Lee and Director Jongmin Park developed the electric suction toothbrush G100 through their volunteer work at our welfare center. When Bluereo's CEO and director told me that they found the difficulties in oral care for individuals with brain disabilities during volunteer work and were starting the development of the electric suction toothbrush, I thought it was incredibly innovative. Collaborating in the development of a product that doesn’t even exist in welfare-advanced countries like Japan and Germany was a truly meaningful opportunity for me.
Furthermore, what they found and felt during their volunteer work could have easily been overlooked, but I was truly impressed by how they turned it into the invention of a product. I believe that their sensitivity to disabilities has led to the invention of the G100.
4. Was there a particular aspect that you considered most important during the development process?
The most important aspect of assistive devices is the convenience of use. We developed the product with the consideration that it should be convenient not only for individuals with disabilities but also for their caregivers. We believed that the product should be lightweight and as compact as possible to ensure it wouldn't be burdensome for practical use. Also, we focused on adding features that reduce the workload for caregivers and alleviate emotional stress. I think our continued collaboration has been possible because both Bluereo and our center share the same priorities when it comes to product development.
Even when products are designed with good intentions for the benefit of individuals with disabilities by those who may not have a deep understanding of their specific needs, it can often turn out to be quite inconvenient when used by those individuals. Therefore, we collaborated in the process of creating products that offer high satisfaction in real-life usage by carefully considering the perspective of individuals with disabilities.
5. You mentioned that there are no products like G100 not only in Korea but also internationally.
Does it mean that there are no existing oral care assistive devices available globally?
Yes, as far as I know, there have been some relatively similar products introduced recently, but they don't have features like an electric suction toothbrush. There's now something like a mouthpiece that cleans through vibrations, but we haven't tested it ourselves through usability evaluations, so we're not quite sure.
Every year, we conduct support programs for 10-20 individuals and undergo usability evaluations. We continuously gather feedback and make improvements based on these insights. As a result, we believe that Bluereo G100 is unique in having substantial clinical experience and data derived from the real-life experiences of individuals with disabilities.
Moreover, when assessing the degree of difficulty reduction before and after use, it has achieved satisfaction levels of nearly 90% or higher. It has received high satisfaction ratings in terms of product durability, portability, and effectiveness.
6. What aspects do caregivers who have used the product most commonly praise?
Caregivers are initially quite amazed by the mere existence of a product like this. Introducing new devices to patients with severe disabilities can be unsettling for caregivers. However, they can be relieved that Bluereo's G100 is FDA-approved and has a variety of unique patents, and the fact that it has been developed with assistive device experts seems to be the point that can give trust to caregivers. And, as I mentioned earlier, many people were pleased because it could alleviate the difficulties they faced with traditional brushing.
7. Do you have any advice for those who may be considering purchasing the G100 as someone who has been closely following the G100 for a while?
I often evaluate various assistive device companies. However, I feel that many of these companies often prioritize profit margins. Many companies tend to create products but neglect the aspect of continuous improvement. In contrast, Bluereo not only prioritizes a meaningful approach to individuals with disabilities during product development but also consistently seeks opportunities for enhancement. For instance, Bluereo developed the newly released Small Brush Head based on feedback from consumers, right?
So, I really hope Bluereo does well, and I truly believe that the G100 is an excellent product. I can confidently say that it can bring convenience to those who have difficulties with oral care due to disabilities.
The starlight we are currently seeing from the Polaris is light that began its journey 430 years ago at the speed of light.
In the same context, I'd like to describe Bluereo as a starlight which is reaching to people who need help.
All the efforts put into product development, improvement through feedback, and promotional activities are coming together, I believe that Bluereo's starlight is approaching more and more people.
We appreciated the positive feedback about the Electric Suction Toothbrush G100.
We thank the Director for participating in the interview.
We have always strived to offer effective solutions to our customers and will continue to do so in the future, aiming to improve their quality of life with our efforts.