Jamie Buckley, creative director at PDD explains how the company worked with on the design of the In2itive Spirometer, a handheld, portable device suitable for both adult and paediatric testing.
Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, respiratory health has been brought to the attention of a global audience, with the world seeing the reality of what compromised lung and respiratory health can lead to.
With studies suggesting that about 10,000 people in the UK are newly diagnosed with a lung disease every week (BLF), we’re passionate at PDD about being part of the solution and helping create new and innovative solutions to speed up detection and treatment across the healthcare space.
We work regularly in partnership with healthcare providers and innovative companies who are creating new products, systems and services to help streamline and accelerate such diagnoses, including the diagnosis and monitoring of certain lung conditions. One of our long-standing partners in this space is Vitalograph, a global leader in respiratory diagnostics, who manufactures and supplies high quality spirometers and respiratory medical devices which aid the detection, diagnosis and control of respiratory conditions.
The partnership was first established around six years ago when the PDD team were brought on board to help introduce an element of cohesiveness to the product portfolio. Up until that point, each product had its own character and logo with the portfolio lacking a common thread. We were also tasked with the design of the innovative In2itive Spirometer, a handheld device suitable for both adult and paediatric testing.
Before setting out on any specific design tasks, the PDD team activated a human-centred research and design approach to better understand who the brand wanted to be and what Vitalograph’s key differentiators were, as well as what drives them as an organisation and what they want to be known for as a company. With consumer expectations higher than ever as tech and innovation continues to develop at lightning speed, it was important to work out where Vitalograph fitted within the broader industry and what we needed to prioritise from an overall brand perspective to ensure optimum end-user satisfaction.
This initial research helped us create a bespoke Design DNA document for Vitalograph, a relevant and easily applied set of overarching principles and guidelines, focusing on and outlining the elements that make the products unique and recognisable. The Design DNA is still used today to help inform the design of any and all further products in the Vitalograph portfolio, and help ensure consistency and cohesion across the full portfolio.
With this overarching framework in place, we then implemented a similar human-centred approach when it came to the design of the In2itive Spirometer, spending time working out any existing pain points of existing spirometers and understanding how such respiratory products are used and received in a real world setting. We also spent time getting to know Vitalograph’s target audience and working out what mattered to them, ensuring this was also reflected in the end design to offer an optimum user experience, both from a physical device and user interface perspective.
The end product is lightweight and portable and comes complete with a colour touch screen display and an intuitive icon driven menu. We ensured the handheld device was quick and simple to operate with a straightforward user interface, making it easy and quick to use.
The device has a 20,000 test memory as well as a simple, validated hygiene system using Bacterial Viral Filters. This means it is easy and inexpensive to keep the device clean and to protect subjects from cross-contamination.
By prioritising a human-centred design approach for both the broader brand work and the specific design of the In2itive Spirometer, immersing ourselves in the lives and perspectives of people, we ensured the end result would be effective and useful. There’s also been a notable increase in brand recognition and awareness of Vitalograph since we brought the portfolio together and introduced cohesion within the product suite, proving the impact of a streamlined Design DNA framework.
The In2itive Spirometer – which will be available later this year – marked the beginning of our partnership with Vitalograph, and we have continued to collaborate closely with their team ever since. Together, we have delivered a suite of products that are distinctive, stand out in the market and make a valuable difference to patients, healthcare professionals and caregivers alike.