Nuviant

PIONEERING MEDICAL IMPLANTS


Patients with Dystonia or Parkinson’s have a problem
with a wide variety of uncontrolled muscle movements.
The Synaptix Deep Brain Stimulator gives muscle
control back to the patients through the use of a
surgically implanted stimulator in the brain.
Synaptix is a pioneer in the development of medical implants. Achilles Design was asked to design and engineer all the external components of this system.
From initial concept all the way to first production.

User friendly product offers the patient
more autonomy



The variety of the uncontrolled muscle movements means that the
interaction with the device could be problematic. Therefore our focus from the very beginning was to make the product user friendly and offer the patient as much as possible autonomy in the use of the device.

User centered design tools



To realize this we used several user centered research tools such as personas, role playing, and usability tests. Based on the experiences and interviews with different patients and surgeons, we created an
outline of different types of potential users. From this outline, the categories which would benefit
the most from this surgical procedure and categories which had the highest economic potential
were chosen. Using the personas from these categories, different concepts were developed,
tested and fine-tuned.

Product development



For Synaptix, the collaboration with Achilles was a way to quickly bring in expertise in user-centered design, and mechanical engineering. By doing this they could ensure the same high quality level for all the system components.

By simultanious developing the hardware and electronics, we succeeded in engineering a good looking high-tech product, simple to use for the patient and the doctor.


 

Prototyping


Prototypes were crucial through the entire design process. In an early stage simple wooden models were used to test the interaction with the patient. More advanced (rapid) prototypes were used for more detailed usability tests.
We delivered a small pilot serie for the clinical trials.

User interface


As the patient often suffers from uncontrolled muscle movements, we needed a very easy to read user interface. A simple status button and optional two sets of buttons - up and down - are the only inputs to control the intensity of the stimulation.
All other feedback is build up around an avatar that represents the patient. Together with it's soft graphical style, this makes the whole system very approachable for the user.