Challenge

Develop an intuitive and modular respiratory trainer to increase respiratory fitness and improve mucus clearance in patients with lung illnesses.

Approach

After gathering technical, regulatory and commercial requirements, we generated concepts and created a proof-of-principle model to refine the design before industrialisation.

Outcome

We designed an award-winning rechargeable device with a visual language that makes it simple to handle. The respiratory trainer is also highly flexible for easy cleaning.

At a glance

Client
Actegy

Sector
Drug delivery

Services
Concept development
Electronics
Software
Industrial design

Team staff on project
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Respiratory trainer to ease breathlessness

Actegy came to Team Consulting to design a Class I medical device that would help people with breathing and respiratory difficulties. It was predominantly aimed at people suffering with conditions such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary heart disease and chronic heart failure.

It would also assist with the clearing of mucus from the throat or lungs, particularly for patients with cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis and COPD.

Concept development

We first met with client stakeholders to define the product requirements and to create a product road map of the features and functions for their first-generation product and subsequent models. Once we had a clear understanding of the technical, regulatory, commercial and user challenges, we generated a range of concepts with a variety of mechanical layouts and architectures.

We developed the electronics and software to deliver three different therapy modes. A proof-of-principle model of the preferred concept allowed us to refine the design before industrialisation.

Ergonomic industrial design

Playing such a pivotal role in the on-going management of respiratory conditions, it was important that the product’s visual language communicated medical effectiveness as well as ease-of-use. The product also needed to be modular in its construction, allowing for the easy cleaning and replacement of components.

The product’s form also needed to help users position it correctly, avoid covering the important airway, and access the controls during operation, which it does with the tactile buttons and de-cluttered interface.

Outcome

The outcome is Aerosure. The rechargeable device rapidly opens and closes (occludes) airflow at the mouth, resulting in increased resistance and vibration of the respiratory tree and associated structures within the lungs, such as the musculature.

It has been scientifically proven that the use of devices such as Aerosure can increase respiratory fitness, reduce breathlessness, improve mucus clearance from the throat and lungs, and improve the quality of life in patients with a wide range of conditions and illnesses that affect their lungs.

The product received a 2013 Red Dot Product Design Award and has been available to purchase since 2013.

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