Medical & Scientific Products

Disintegrator Plus Needle Destruction System

Client: Disintegrator Products

The Disintegrator is a portable, easy-to-use device that allows safe disposal of used insulin syringes by disintegrating the needle. A plasma arc melts the needle at a temperature of over 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, reducing it to a small ball. The unit is portable, hand-held and has one-step activation.

  • Used syringes and pen needles are made safe for disposal as common household trash instead of as biohazard.

  • Unintentional needle reuse is virtually eliminated.

  • The risk of downstream infection is minimized.

Contact: Carla Blackman, IDSA,
Design Interface Inc,

Credit: Design Interface Inc

ALGO® 3i Newborn Hearing Screener

Client: Natus Medical Incorporated

This device makes newborns' hearing tests mobile, allowing the baby to rest comfortably in the nursery or even a mother's arms, while tests are conducted. The screener has a simple GUI and is transportable in a custom-made backpack.

  • The screener features SoftClip, a multi-function component that allows it to be placed in various configurations and prevents it from falling into the bassinet or onto the floor.

Contact: James Leftwich, IDSA,
PEMSTAR Pacific Consultants, Inc,

Credit: PEMSTAR Pacific Consultants, Inc; Natus Medical, Inc; Arrows Design and Technolution

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BD FACSArray Bioanalyzer System

This system enables the study of cells and soluble analytes simultaneously. To operate the system, the user defines an experiment using a simple program and then prepares samples in the lab. The design solution is simple and features a minimal footprint, as bench top space in the lab is precious.

  • The device can be loaded manually from the front or robotically from the sides.
  • The I/O panel is located in a recess at the bottom of the instrument, which allows the unit to be pushed up against a wall to maximize bench top space.

Contact: Gerard Furbershaw, IDSA,
Lunar Design,

Credit: Lunar Design and BD Biosciences

Diagnostic Unit / Apex Locator

Client: Sybron Endodontics

This device for painlessly measuring the distance from where an instrument sits in the canal of a tooth to the apex or hidden end of a tooth is used prior to a root canal procedure. The design enhanced usability by including a large, easy-to-read visual interface with a tilting mechanism that can eliminate glare from the display surface. Another innovation is the satellite remote display, which can be positioned near the patient's mouth and allows the doctor to keep his eyes in one area rather than looking back and forth.

  • The product has become the company's flagship device.
  • Sales have doubled.

Contact: Cary Chow,
Nectar Inc,

Credit: Nectar Inc and Sybron Endodontics

LifePort Kidney Transporter

Client: Organ Recovary Systems

Cold storage and transportation of donor kidneys can usually last just 18 hours. This device prolongs that time by 50 percent for a storage time of 35 hours or more, a huge innovation. By extending storage time and improving organ condition during transport physicians can provide transplants to a greater number of patients and ensure a proper match between donor and recipient. The friendly helmet-like form conveys feelings of safety and protection.

  • A helmet aesthetic conveys "safety."
  • Monitoring of kidney is available from outside the device.

Contact: Scott Underwood, IDEO,

Credit: IDEO and Organ Recovery Systems

Advanced Bionics HiRes Auria

People with sensorineural hearing loss who have cochlear implants (electrodes surgically implanted in the coiled chamber of the inner ear) must use sound processing devices to hear. This system offers customizable covers that snap on and off to either mask or decorate the device, for both children and adults. Programs for different sound environments are accessed with the flip of a switch and the unit can be configured to work with various audio inputs, power supplies and microphones. The system also comes with ear hooks to make the fit more snug.

  • The device also has a visual confirmation that the processor is working with the implant.
  • There is a version specifically for children.

Contact: Scott Underwood, IDEO,

Credit: IDEO and Advanced Bionics

Fluke 1650 Series Multifunction Tester

In Europe, wiring in a building must be tested to meet specific requirements. Qualified technicians use 1650 testers to make sure wiring installations are up to code and record the findings. Designers created this lightweight device for all-day use. The curved shape fits around a user's stomach when the device hangs from the neck. A contact probe with a remote test button allows the user to keep their eyes on the contact point.

  • The graphics panel is localized for different languages and code specific nomenclature.

Contact: George McCain, IDSA,
Fluke Corp,

Credit: Fluke Corp


Nuclear cardiac studies require the patient to remain motionless for up to 45 minutes in order to acquire a diagnostic image that is free of "motion artifacts." Previously, patients were required to lie down on a flat board, which was fed into a huge doughnut-shaped gantry. The provides a reclining chair for subjects and moves them gently into the imaging position. This feature greatly reduces movement, as a comfortable person is less likely to move. The open design also reduces patient claustrophobia and the extremely small footprint uses half the floor space of a conventional gamma camera.

  • Improved patient experience is one of the primary goals of this industry.

Contact: Ansgar Graw, IDSA,
Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc,

Credit: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc and 3D, Denmark

Vicks Underarm Thermometer by Kaz, Inc

Client: Kaz, Inc

Until now, all digital underarm thermometers borrowed their form from the old mercury thermometers. The design team discovered that changing the shape from straight to curved makes a thermometer a lot more comfortable and visually communicates to the consumer that it's not for oral or rectal use. The new shape snugly fits into the underarm cavity with a probe that mates with the "hot zone." Better ergonomics and a friendlier look make taking a child's temperature a lot less hassle.

"It's so refreshing to see such an elegant and simple product that stands out from the competition because it is appropriately designed. Less threatening for the child and easier to read for the parent; this is a 'wow.'" - Amy Potts, IDSA, Principal, Potts Design

Contact: Wendi Parson,
Smart Design,

Credit: Smart Design

Intelect Advanced & Mobile Electrotherapy Range

Client: Chattanooga Group

The unique modular design of this fully integrated suite of clinical electrotherapy equipment offers complete flexibility in the configuration and upgrade of the unit to meet the requirements of the individual therapist, at a fraction of the cost of the individual modalities. The mobile version was designed to be compact and lightweight to facilitate use away from the clinical environment at venues such as sporting events.

  • Accessory connections are made at the front of the unit, covered by a clip-on panel.
  • Cables are managed in correct visual order for ease of identification and access and are color coded to simplify connection and recognition.

"This is a comprehensive system that uses a friendly interface to be less threatening. Its modularity makes it flexible enough to customize treatment sessions, which benefits both the user and the clients' bottom line." - Amy Potts, IDSA, Principal, Potts Design

Contact: Murray Hunter,
Design + Industry Pty Ltd, Australia
+612 9555 1166

On the Web:

Credit: Design + Industry Pty Ltd, Australia and Chattanooga Group