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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]
Our involvement in the development of the Ultrasonic Shears: