Executive Summary:

One of the UK’s oldest medical device manufacturers approached HD to design a new drainage container for their portfolio of urinary device’s.

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Working closely with the client’s inhouse team, clinicians in the field as well as users themselves, HD developed a drainage container with a number of novel features drawn from user needs. The final design was reusable, with strong ergonomic considerations for the various intended users as well as for secondary users such as HCP’s who often monitor patient’s urine; it was easy to clean and collapsible to ensure discretion in domestic settings and ease of use for example, whilst travelling.

The innovative ideas that the guys at HD came up with were great and to back these up with detailed engineering and fully working prototypes ready for production has been fantastic!

Urinary drainage bags have been on the market for many years; The design of which, has barely changed in nearly 60 years.

However, they’re typically be met with user dislike and embarrassment when emptying. Typical drainage systems are large, opaque in colour and attached to a plastic easel which can be unsteady and cause a number of difficulties. They are used to temporarily collect and store up to 2L urine for patients during the night, periods of rest, or when a typical pouch is too small for the users output.

Users expressed dislike towards existing products due to their ‘cheap’, ‘stereotypical’ and medical’ appearance creating feelings of shame when using and in particularly emptying the device. HD were tasked with understanding and subsequently improving these key areas to produce an innovative, user-friendly product, which focused on comfort, dignity, and functionality. Understanding the levels of user frustration, stigma and lack of empathetic design associated with using these devices, HD approached this project from a user needs perspective – questioning the core principles required, how and where users interact with this type of product, their actions during use and the emotional impact of using products of this sort.

Working closely with the client’s inhouse team, clinicians in the field as well as users themselves, HD created a user needs document, capturing the key requirements outlined by the user group. This helped form a product design specification (PDS), guiding the design of not only a robust and technically sound product, but also one that users felt comfortable and importantly, happy using. Multiple concepts were conceptualised, prototyped, and evaluated, not only for their performance in critical areas such as sealing, but also their qualitative qualities such as comfort and ease of use. A final design was selected and further refined with input from occupational therapists, nurses and patients themselves.

HD developed a drainage system with a number of innovative and versatile features drawn from user needs. The final design considered sustainability factors therefore was reusable, it had strong ergonomic considerations for the various intended users as well as consideration for the HCP’s who often monitor patient’s urine. The final device was also able to store a larger volume of urine allowing for less frequency in drainage therefore less distraction and, better quality of sleep. The design utilised high quality materials that were easy to clean and ready for immediate re-use as well as collapsible features to ensure compactness and ease of travel.

Importantly, the design aimed to eradicate some of the feelings of embarrassment associated with these devices and instead, provide some empowerment through its aesthetic and patient choice in CMF.

If you would like to learn more about this project or discuss how we can help with your product or medical device development, please get in touch.

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