Usability Enhancements  For Ultrasonic Shears

Reach Surgical
Ultrasonic Shears

Usability Enhancements
For Ultrasonic Shears

Ultrasonic shears are widely popular minimally invasive surgical instruments used for long periods in high pressure scenarios. IDC took on the design challenge to create industry preferential surgical shears through improved ergonomics and usability.

Innovating to surpass the market competition

The leading international brand's ultrasonic shears had once dominated the domestic market and played a pivotal role in introducing, promoting, and educating the market about this product category. A key challenge for the IDC team was to overcome the strong market acceptance of the competitor's product and discover innovative opportunities to become the industry preferred ultrasonic shears through increased usability creating a genuinely improved alternative.

ultrasonic shears

Reach Surgical has seen rapid growth in the minimally invasive surgery sector, securing a position in the top three companies in the field. Reach Surgical leveraged its extensive experience in ultrasonic scalpel development to incorporate the ability to close 7mm blood vessels into their new product launch.

With a vision to deliver ultrasonic shears with reliable quality, superior performance, and cost-effectiveness, Reach Surgical sought the expertise of IDC. The key objective was to optimise ergonomic features to become the preferential ultrasonic shears.
Ultrasonic Shears

Unearthing Innovative Opportunities:

IDC and Reach Surgical established a design process focused on promoting innovation solutions through human centred design.

IDC thoroughly understood the interaction characteristics and usage processes of handheld ultrasonic shears, breaking down the ergonomic elements into nine key points, including the trigger, handle, buttons, knobs, etc.

Ultrasonic Shears

To gain valuable insights interviews were conducted with experienced doctors in a number of fields. One key design change derived from this research was the shortening of the trigger's range to reduce fatigue during continuous operation. There were design considerations for a large range of hand sizes and preferences.

Extensive exploration and rigorous user testing informed the final design of the overall form and key interaction points. Prototyping was conducted at various stages of the design process. Starting from rough Foam/clay forms for rapid validation to detailed prototypes using IDC's in-house 3D printing capabilities.

Ultrasonic Shears
Ultrasonic Shears

Our work with Reach Surgical represents a focus on enhanced usability and comfort in a product category that demands a rigorous approach to ergonomics while simultaneously achieving visual appeal. These devices are used for many hours in high pressure situations and a high bar is set for the quality level of how the product feels in-hand. There is nuance and detail to these interactions and we're delighted that both Reach Surgical and the surgeons IDC worked with as part of the development resonated with that commitment to detail.

Nick Chubb Design Director, IDC
Ultrasonic Shears
The final design was taken back to real world users for further analysis. Interviewees showed very positive feedback towards the new design concepts and their comfort over extended use and usability advantages.

Ultimately, through iterative user testing the final design has had ergonomic upgrades elevating it above the competition. The company received further positive feedback on the ergonomics during clinical trials. Reach Surgical not only established a high-quality brand image but also moved forward with a series of product iterations using this product as a foundation, efficiently capturing the market.

Our involvement in the development of the Ultrasonic Shears:

  • Competitor analysis
  • User research and insight discovery
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Industrial design
  • Colour, material and finish
  • Prototype manufacture (SLA)
  • User testing
  • Full CAD design for manufacture
  • Tolerance stack analysis
  • 2D Engineering drawings

Ultrasonic Shears

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