Method and GlobalLogic collaborated with healthcare start-up Bay Innovations to design and engineer a wearable product that revolutionizes patient care.
Anaesthetists, nurses and paramedics keep patients stable during surgical procedures and hospital transfers. It’s essential these clinicians rapidly recognize abnormal changes in vital signs data such as heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels. A clinician’s response speed is impaired by high workload, or when monitoring equipment is difficult to see. Vivi enables clinicians to visually perceive patient vital signs data within their field of view, improving response time and allowing more attention to be directed towards patients and the surgical field.
Conventional head-mounted display (HMD) products, like Google Glass or Vuzix M100, are engineered to provide a sophisticated and versatile software development platform, but are too generalized for specific applications. Vivi is designed to leverage appropriate technologies with a specialized, user-centered solution that is value-engineered rather than bloated with excessive features.
Developing a useful HMD system for clinical vital signs monitoring is a challenging task. The device must meet the demands of the clinical environment; integrate with existing monitoring equipment; offer a robust, hygienic, physically unobtrusive form factor; manage attention effectively without unnecessary distraction; and it must operate reliably for many hours between charges.
The route to market for healthcare devices is long and costly, so another crucial challenge was to establish business, design and engineering strategies that mitigate the financial risks of further product development and marketing. Ultimately, from a business perspective, the project needed to deliver sufficient value for the client to secure more funding and provide functional prototypes for clinical testing.
Method used an experience design approach to balance user needs with technology constraints, business objectives and a strong brand identity. This holistic approach, combined with world-class engineering support from GlobalLogic, meant the team could tightly craft every aspect of the product experience from the ground up and with a single, cohesive vision.
We are insights driven, so naturally the project began with a discovery phase that combined user interviews, clinical studies and human factors research. We identified key challenges, opportunities and requirements, then through a process of prototyping and experimentation, iterated towards potential solutions.
The team engineered optics, electronics and firmware; designed a companion App; developed unique optical interfaces; and provided novel industrial design solutions. In the true spirit of experience design, a name, visual identity, and route to market strategy tied everything together across all touchpoints.
The Vivi system begins with an electronic “gateway”, which integrates with monitoring equipment. The gateway device collects, processes, packs and transmits patient data using secure Bluetooth to an optical headset worn by the clinician. The headset‘s behavior and graphical interface are configurable using a companion smartphone App in order to meet a clinician’s requirements for specific patients and particular procedures.
Vivi is by no means a replacement for the skills and knowledge of an experienced anaesthetist, nurse or paramedic, but it enables them to perform more effectively under difficult conditions and during periods of high stress or mental workload.
By designing for users and not software engineers, we were able to focus on the clinician’s needs. This lead to the development of a product that is smaller, lighter, cheaper, more reliable, and with a longer battery life than any other HMD device on the market – universal value that will help the client drive their business and potentially help healthcare professionals to save lives.