Gastroenterologist Professor Shaheen Handy wanted to help more of his patients who had stroke-related swallowing difficulty (dysphagia). He invented a solution to address this involving neural stimulation at the patient’s pharynx to promote neural plasticity and recovery. The design challenge was to translate the complex research into a product suitable for routine use in a hospital, clinic or care-home setting. A start-up company Phagenesis was set up by the TTO and Maddison was enlisted to design and develop prototypes and product.
As well as meeting the functional requirements, the Phagenesis Dysphagia Treatment System had to conform to the relevant standards including IEC 60601 (electrical medical systems), 62366 (usability) and 10993 (biocompatibility) and ensure that no harm could come to the patient through system error or foreseeable misuse.
The product had to be simple to use, easy to clean, robust, cost effective and easy to manufacture. The industrial design needed to communicate a high-quality aesthetic to support the Phagenesis emerging brand. Maddison were brought in at the early design stage to drive the mechanical and industrial design aspects of the product development for base station and catheter.
Maddison took the design from the early stages right through to production and post production support. We worked closely with an electronics and software partner to ensure a completely integrated design. In addition to the design of the physical elements, Maddison devised and designed the graphical user interface (GUI). Aimed at both expert users and novice Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs), it led the user through the complex use workflows.