“We transformed an uninspiring medical therapy device into a smooth user-focussed experience.”
Cold Therapy is the application of low temperatures to swollen, damaged or recovering joints, muscles and ligaments. A typical device consists of a water & ice reservoir, tubing, water blankets, pumps and temperature control electronics. Chilled water is pumped around a blanket, applied to the patient’s injury under strict temperature control.
Facing overwhelming competition in the medical therapy market, DeRoyal came to us with an ageing product designed specifically for manufacture in their small blow-moulding facility, which had been ear-marked for closure.
After interviewing nursing staff and patients – we discovered more important problems with the design. Several times a day, ice and water must be loaded and unloaded via a small top-located screw-closure… this is a physically demanding and even painful process for injured patients, when applying therapy at home.
Our final design gives patients and nurses the largest possible access area for loading fresh ice and water. The simple, hinged lid is easy to open, close and lock, even with an injured hand. An integrated drainage spout means that waste water can be drained into a separate container without needing to lift the entire unit.
We took the design through to final engineering drawings, and managed a pilot production run across several suppliers in southern China. The newly engineered parts can now be manufactured by standard processes almost anywhere in the world. Separate EPS insulation mouldings contribute to the sustainability of the unit, by allowing easy disassembly of all polymer parts at non-specialised local recycling facilities across the USA. DeRoyal are now experiencing hugely improved sales, and are once again rivaling their competitors in the Cold Therapy market.
If you have a similar project you’d like to discuss, contact Think Refine.