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VBHC for Cleft Lip and Palate


Author: Marek Torbus, Tina Ekhtiar, Hosana Morales, Jip Spijker, Peixin Wang

Supervisory team: Marijke Idema, Marijke Melles
Partners: Amsterdam UMC, TU Delft

Cleft lip and palate is a birth defect that occurs when a baby’s lip or palate does not form correctly during pregnancy (Dixon, 2011). This disorder occurs in about 2 births per 1000 in the Netherlands (Bakker MK, 2016). Treatment of this disorder is a long-term process, beginning just after birth and continuing past the child’s 18th birthday. The treatment involves the coordination of many specialists from different disciplines, such as plastic surgeons, dentists, orthodontists, and nurses (Robin, 2006).


During consultations, the main problems are the comfort and stress level of the child. These depend on the relationship between the child, parent and doctor. Also, examination rooms are not well prepared for children, examination booths don’t have any toys or any tool that might be helpful in comforting the patient, and the examination of the mouth is unpleasant and invasive. Concluding, the unsuitable environment complicates and extends the consultation. 

Five design concepts solving these problems can be found below.

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