Working closely with our client Rapid Rhythm, we employed a user-focused design process that identified a number of product innovations. The result is a user-friendly device that facilitates quicker heart screening tests and requires fewer training hours for medical professionals.
More than half a million people in the UK suffer from atrial fibrillation (AF), which causes an irregular heart rate, and identifies a high risk of stroke. AF results in 575,000 hospital admissions a year, and more than 900,000 people live with the after effects of stroke.
The current method of screening is an electrocardiogram (ECG) test, for which patients undress and lie down to have ten electrodes connected to their body by a qualified medical professional. The procedure can take up to 20 minutes.
The RapidRhythm device is held to a patient’s chest to diagnose AF and other major cardiac conditions. Data is relayed to a LCD touchscreen displaying a high resolution multichannel ECG trace and wirelessly downloaded for further analysis by a physician.
The device conducts a full 8 or 12 lead ECG measurement and can be used in a number of clinical settings. It gives high definition video guidance to the user on how to conduct the test, requires less training time for GPs, doctors and nurses than traditional ECG machines, and can be used without the need for patients to undress. The RapidRhythm device can securely transfer the ECG recording to a remote interpretation service, or a nearby printer for on-site analysis.
As part of our user-focused design process, we conducted on-site interviews at GP surgeries and heart wards to observe patients and understand how they engaged with ECG tests in order to find problems and opportunities for innovation.
This process identified a number of unique product features that we explored across a range of design concepts. These include a single-handed electrode application process, automatic electrode release system, ergonomic form and obvious grip for left or right-handed use. We presented these designs to patients and healthcare professionals to identify a preferred design.
The product was engineered in 3D CAD, with a number of test prototypes created using our in-house facilities. This enabled AME’s engineers to assess the design, highlight issues and minimise the risk and potential costs of resolving them at a later date.
Our low volume production facilities will be used to manufacture a small quantity of the devices, which will be used to validate the Rapid Rhythm product in the field.