In simple terms Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is when the muscles in your throat and tongue relax and block off the airways during sleeping. This disturbance not only causes snoring but briefly wakes the sufferer. OSA is the most common sleep disorder and it affects over 300,000 people in Belgium alone. That’s something to lose sleep over. So when Nyxoah showed us their solution we jumped at the chance to help bring this technology to market.

Disruptive solution requires
discrete and minimally invasive surgery

The system that the Belgian-Israeli start-up Nyxoah has developed is compact and requires simple outpatient implantation, just under the chin. This implant directly stimulates the tongue muscles when needed. This maintains 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 when sleeping.

Charging during the day gives you
a good sleep at night

Since most of the complexity lies in the activation chip, the implant is kept simple, giving it a long lifetime.
While Nyxoah had the technology under control they needed a partner to help create a complete system that guarantees a user friendly approach for patients, doctors, and surgeons.

Extensive usability testing

The most important part of the system is of course the implant itself. Here we helped to determine
how the implant is anchored to the tongue muscle. In close collaboration with surgeons we developed, during various prototype stages, the optimized surgical tool to improve the reliability, speed and usability of the implant positioning.

Making it easy for all users

On the outside of the body, Achilles was also responsible for the production-ready mechanical design of the patch itself, the activation chip, a charging station for the activation chip, and a diagnostic tool for doctors, as well as it’s digital interface.

Patient confidence through an intuitive user interface

The requirements of the digital interface needed to provide the user with 2 main functionalities: continuous and discontinuous pulsing. One big button was provided to set parameters depending on the patient needs. Once the pulse has been given the display highlights the working of the pulse to give visual feedback to the operator.
We were able to obtain these findings by testing and prototyping our designs by wireframing, clickable protoypes and user insights.

Award winning technology

The result is a minimally invasive, compact, comfortable, effective, and affordable solution for sufferers from Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
This game changing idea is gaining worldwide recognition as it won the Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Leadership Award (2014) as well as the World Technology Award (2014)

“Generating idea’s with a 360° view resulted in
a simplified usability. This contributed in the shift
from a medical device to a userfriendly product”

“Great fun to be part of a small international team challenging every detail to create a thoroughly breakthrough innovation”