Abbott Vascular

Industrial Design / Engineering / User Research
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The Client

Abbott Laboratories is an American multinational medical devices and health care company with headquarters in Abbott Park, Illinois. Abbott focuses on innovative technologies to improve the way clinicians treat people with vascular diseases, irregular heartbeats, and diseases of the heart's valves and other structures.

 "300 million life-years have been lost to cardiovascular diseases. It's time we reimagine patient care." 
-Abbott Vascular

The Product

A hand-held stent delivery system, the handle portion of which incorporated a finger-actuated lead screw used to accomplish stent deployment. Also included: a deployment lock and two Luer Fittings feeding separate fluid paths within the catheter set.

The Challenge

The new delivery design needed to incorporate a different internal mechanism and accommodate stents up to 180mm in length. Integral to the new design was putting more control into the hands of the surgeons with a more compact, low-force operation for better accuracy in delivery. Manufacturability was also a key consideration while integrating into the new stent delivery system.

The process

Speck saw the root of the challenge of the Abbott Vascular device as a need for improved device performance as a catalyst for better patient outcomes. The more ergonomic the device and smoother the action--the better the tool would be for saving lives and avoiding potential complications. This purview brought to the forefront solving issues of recoil, rigid operation, and uneasy stent deployment as a solution for how humans interacted with the device. The stent limitations were seen as separate, specific device functionality parameters. By incorporating user research, industrial design, engineering, and an "end-user" mindset, Speck was able to make the mechanical changes needed for device performance while also creating something ergonomically superior for improved end-user performance.

the outcome

The redesigned stent delivery system was functionally successful at accommodating stents up to 180mm in length. However, in exploring the human use case, Speck engineered a smoother, more precise action while also providing an intuitive user interface and enhanced ergonomics for the end-users--healthcare professionals. The improved system allows those clinicians, with patients' lives in their hands, to be more accurate, focused, and comfortable when deploying care, thereby increasing overall positive patient outcomes.

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