Translate an idea into an actual solution.Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is diagnosed when throat and tongue muscles relax abnormally strong and block the air flow during sleeping. This disturbance not only causes snoring but briefly wakes up the patient as a result of a short suffocation panic. OSA is the most common sleep disorder and it affects over 300,000 people in Belgium alone. Nyxoah’s therapy consists of a tiny neurostimulator implanted in the chin area. The system stimulates the tongue nerve. This keeps the upper airway open throughout the night, avoiding sleep apnoea.
Evidently, the most important part of the system is the implant itself. We designed the method how the implant is anchored to the tongue muscle in a stable and reliable way. In close collaboration with involved surgeons, we developed – during various prototype stages – the optimized surgical tool to improve the reliability, speed and usability of the implant positioning.
How it works
Disruptive solution requires discrete and minimally invasive surgeryThe system that the Belgo-Israeli start-up Nyxoah has developed is compact and requires a simple implantation, just under the chin of the patient. This implant directly stimulates the tongue muscles when needed. This keeps the upper airway open throughout the night. The implant itself is wirelessly powered by a small activation chip that the patient wears under the chin on a disposable patch while sleeping.
Charging during the day gives you a good sleep at nightSince most of the complexity lies in the activation chip, the implant is kept simple, giving it a long lifetime. While Nyxoah mastered the required technology, they needed a partner to help create a complete system that guarantees a user-friendly approach for patients, doctors, and surgeons.
Making it easy for all usersOur designers and engineers developed a new solution to charge the implant and wear the device during the night. As a side effect, our designs are patented and are now an important element of Nyxoah’s IP.
Increased productivity in the laboratoryTerumo BCT wanted to update their T-Seal Tube Sealing Device with an emphasis on usability and efficiency. The new unit needed to take up as little work surface as possible and be quickly interconnected with multiple devices when needing to seal off numerous inline blood samples. This partnership led to a device that not only met these criteria but also boosted productivity in the lab environment and increased sales for Terumo BCT.
Our user-centered approach quickly helped us understand how the technician works in a busy lab and where the challenges lay trough the workflow.
A more intuitive and compact seal unitA folding spacing leg can be used to place multiple sealing units next to each other at precise intervals to create different samples. Sizing down the T-SEAL II device allows closer placement for more sealed units, using up less workspace. Data and power can be shared between the units trough cable connections. This ensures that the sealing only happens at the optimum moment, limiting the risk of having a bad seal.
An Anaesthesia device is a crucial device in an operation room. Its design needs to be functional, easy to use and – most importantly – reliable in all circumstances. Medec wanted to develop their new anaesthesia device and consulted Achilles Design to guide them through the development process.
We started our design project by analysing the actual usage patterns of the device. Various observations, stakeholder interviews and user scenario explorations therefore resulted in a system design that optimally fulfilled the user needs. Multiple loops of design, prototyping, testing and optimisation led to a functional, affordable, and aesthetic device design.
Getting insights in the process flows of anaesthesiaIn order to start the design process, we first needed to get a solid and thorough understanding of the various stakeholder needs, predominantly the needs of the user itself. Being required to analyse, specify, develop, and evaluate the usability of this medical device in accordance with the ISO62366 standard, we focused on designing the product based on actual user feedback.
Hands-on design approachWe mobilised all the creative ability of our engineers and designers and then combined the best ideas into a series of design concepts. From the overall product layout to different functional subsystems such as the valves, our engineers generated multiple functional prototypes that were intensely tested with respect to durability and reliability.
Defining every bolt and nutExtensive experience with multiple manufacturing techniques and assembly principles enabled us to develop a robust and reliable device, while keeping the cost of ownership to a strict minimum. We detailed and designed all mechanical parts for serial production. In close co-operation with the Medec team, we verified that all parts and (sub)systems would fulfil the required quality standards.
The hyposafe SubQ technology allows to monitor your brain activity continuously. The challenge is to create a product that is only minimally obstructive as it has to be worn continuously. When designing the external device we had to make sure that the product is as invisible as possible, yet still able to interact with the user, especially when an alarm occurs. Being used 24 hours, the reliability of the product is of extreme importance.
Slink designThe product consists of a tiny implant and an external communication device that is connected with the implant through an inductive coil. The final design of the external device is a highly miniaturized flat product that can be magnetically fixed below the patient’s clothes. The magnet has a circle shape allowing the patient to blindly find their way to the button positioned on the inside of his shirt. The optimized magnet will ensure a strong fixation allowing the user to be very active, perform sport etc. An auditory and visual alarm is given in case of a nearing hypoglycemia.