Karten Design is a product design and innovation consultancy with over 30 years of experience partnering with medical and consumer companies to build their business through design.
K:D leverages our team’s long history in designing consumer products to bring an added focus on people and emotion to the healthcare market. The results are medical devices and digital health solutions that emotionally engage their users. We inspire users to buy in at a deep emotional level, which motivates behavior change, increases adherence, enables better health outcomes, and ultimately improves lives.
- Boston Scientific
- Cardiac Science
- Vessix Vascular
- Vyaire Medical
Services & Capabilities
- Design Strategy
- Design Research
- Industrial Design
- Digital Design
- Mechanical Engineering
- Visual Design
K:D has been honored with more than 100 of the design industry’s top global awards, including IDEA, GOOD Design, FastCompany, CES Innovations, red dot, IDA Product Designer of the Year, and the Cooper-Hewitt People’s Design Award.
Neuromodulation is an emerging therapy being applied to treat conditions such as chronic pain, headaches and tremors, using mild electrical pulses to stimulate targeted nerves inside the body. Axonics Modulation Technology was poised to be a leader in neuromodulation with a class-leading nerve stimulation device—just one-third of the size of similar devices, and with a rechargeable battery that lasts a decade longer. The start-up needed help envisioning the application of its treatment and commercializing its amazing technology.
Our research found an unmet need in the treatment of urinary and fecal dysfunction. We transformed an innovative technology into a complete ecosystem of physical and digital products that improve the experience of people suffering from incontinence. Axonics’s system has the industry’s first portable inductive charging device, giving patients the freedom to move. A handheld remote lets them inconspicuously adjust stimulation levels and check battery status. We also simplified the implant programming process for doctors with a lightweight programmer, built from the ground up to be helpful, simple and intuitive.
Renal Denervation is a promising catheter-based outpatient treatment for resistant hypertension—a condition that affects as many as 9 million Americans. The client’s Vessix system performs this treatment faster than any other device on the market, establishing a new gold standard. To advance quickly to commercialization in a competitive field, Vessix needed a strategy to engage the medical community and investors.
From the company’s name and logo to its renal denervation system, which delivers treatment with the push of a single button, we designed a ground-up identity for Vessix Vascular that reinforced its key advantage—simplicity. The device’s simple, restrained form employs high-quality materials and finishes rare in the medical world. Details such as texture and contrast draw people deeper into the product. A brilliant, full-color graphic user interface reinforces the simplicity of the 30-second procedure, guiding users through the renal denervation process in just 6 screens. The result? Excitement. Vessix was sold to Boston Scientific for $425 million within just 18 months of project kickoff.
Bruin Biometrics is establishing a new standard of care in orthopedics. Its Orthosonos monitor uses sound waves to detect early stage osteoarthritis, leading to earlier intervention and better treatments. To minimize barriers to adoption for busy doctors, the system needed to blend with their existing workflows.
Guided by research, we developed a system that requires minimal new skills, equipment or maintenance. We learned that one of doctors’ biggest workflow challenges is communicating with and educating patients. Our design adds value to doctors’ practice with a large touch screen and vivid interface that lets doctors and patients view test results together.
After surgery, hospitals typically rely on opioids to control pain. While simple to prescribe, opioids are associated with adverse patient incidents like respiratory depression, confusion, falls and addiction. Halyard Health has a solution that can reduce opioids while offering continuous, targeted pain management. Its ON-Q system delivers local anesthetic to the surgical site through specially designed catheters. This treatment is a departure from many doctors’ standard procedures and requires a higher upfront investment in time and skill. In designing its next-generation pump, Halyard sought new opportunities to increase adoption of its ON-Q system.
To inspire new solutions that will improve patient satisfaction and outcomes, we built a deep understanding of all the stakeholders in the ecosystem. By understanding every “voice of the ecosystem,” we create products that everyone loves – including hospital workflow and patients’ acute pain journeys, from pre-op meetings to discharge and at-home recovery. We applied our research across Halyard’s holistic ecosystem, uncovering opportunities to improve user satisfaction through product design, as well as digital platforms, marketing communications, and doctor training and support. Our solutions offered new ideas for simplifying workflow, engaging patients and physicians, and creating actionable data. The first solution that we’ve helped to implement is a digital platform that follows patients through post-operative recovery at home. This responsive website creates a feedback loop that can fuel innovation and document the ON-Q system’s efficacy.
With Dr. Forrest Bird’s Flow Ventilation®, Percussionaire revolutionized modern respiratory care more than thirty years ago. While the therapy has been refined, the appearance of Percussioniare’s devices has remained largely the same since their introduction in the early 1970s. The function-driven design, inspired by Dr. Bird’s background as a distinguished Army Air Corp mechanic and pilot, was nearly as information-intensive as a 1960s cockpit. The multiple levels of information and controls made it difficult for respiratory therapists to use and adopt this effective form of respiratory therapy. The device line needed an aesthetic transformation to make it more appealing and easier to use.
Karten Design breathed new life into Percussionaire’s brand with a Design Language System that drastically simplifies the company’s product line and thoroughly updates its appearance. Addressing design across the entire product line gives Percussionaire a roadmap for a cohesive product identity that leverages form, design details, color, materials, finishes and graphics to connect with respiratory therapists. Most notably, the redesign incorporates a new touch panel display for improved user feedback and applies a hierarchical approach to the layout of physical controls. Inspired by interviews with key stakeholders, the designs are functionally responsive to the various use cases. We’ve since helped Percussionaire apply the design language to its IPV Series devices for use within a hospital/clinic environment.
Starkey makes some of the most technologically advanced hearing aids available. There’s just one problem—no one wants a hearing aid. More than 48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss, but the average person waits seven years from the time a hearing aid could help until actually purchasing a set. People associate traditional hearing aids with age, disability and weakness. To help Starkey grow, we needed to overcome strong emotional barriers.