When a loved one is in intensive care, it can be terrifying for all concerned. Industry leader Hamilton Medical and world-recognized industrial design consultancy RKS have combined efforts to create a new ventilator designed to create a better ICU experience for medical professionals, patients, and loved ones, and, in turn, improve patient recovery.
You get the call. The one you pray you'll never get. You arrive at the ICU to find your loved one on life support. Hoses and tubes obscure their face and connect them to large, intimidating machines. And the sound... the sound rocks you to your core - the rhythmic whir and schooock of the massive ventilator breathing life into their too still body. As their eyes finally open, you muster a brave face. Yet you find your own breath catching in your throat... in dreaded anticipation... if that whir and schooock ceases - one heart will stop; and yours will break.
Recent studies have proven what many have long known: ICU patients need more than mere dependable delivery of oxygen. They need hope. "We found that the role psychosocial factors play in surgical recovery was even bigger than we expected," said Peter Jokl, MD, Yale University School of Medicine. After reviewing more than 29 studies spanning 15 years, the conclusion of the Yale study was clear, how patients and loved ones feel can play an important role in patient recovery. When worry, anxiousness, and other negative feelings are minimized and replaced with positive emotions and attitudes, patient recoveries are greatly improved.
Leveraging a multi-year relationship, Hamilton Medical enlisted Southern-California-based RKS to create a design for their new, light-weight ventilator that would take ventilator offerings to the next level. Through use of their proprietary Psycho-Aesthetics methodology, RKS determined early on that improving the experiences of medical personnel, patients, and loved ones would be about much more than delivering cutting-edge technology. "When you see someone you love hooked up to these huge, industrial-looking machines, no matter what the doctors say, a piece of you starts making funeral plans," said Ravi Sawhney, RKS founder and C.E.O. "That feeling can't help but affect everyone in the room."
"Psycho-Aesthetics empowers our team to 'design what you can't see,'" explained Tom White, Executive Vice President of RKS. "In an ICU, emotions can have a powerful effect - from doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists who can do their job more calmly and effectively, to patients and loved ones who profoundly benefit from a more positive emotional environment."
The design language of the C2 is a reaction against competitive ventilators which appear to have been designed strictly to provide data, with no consideration of the patient, the operator, or the environment. In contrast, the design language of the C2 is inviting and reassuring. It leans forward, engagingly, offering a confident and smart display. The C2 evokes a friendly personality, while still giving everyone in the room confidence that it's a ventilator upon which you can trust your life. The C2 features HAMILTON's unique "Ventilation Cockpit" with an intelligent touch-screen interface that gives operators a quick, at-a-glance, dashboard display of key information. The Ventilation Cockpit provides exactly the information operators need and helps them focus on what's important. The approachable and intuitive screen of the C2 tilts to accommodate different operator positions. The clear organization of information on the display reduces pressure on operators and helps to minimize errors.
With inbuilt batteries and weighing under 21 pounds the C2 can accompany a patient anywhere within the hospital, independently of central gas and power supplies. Patients don't have to be disconnected for transport, increasing patient safety and comfort, while at the same time reducing operator workload. The C2 can be used on a countertop, rolling stand, or carried with the built-in handle that nestles into the top of the unit when not in use. The rolling stand was designed so that, when holding the C2, it looks like one integrated design rather than a piece of equipment perched on a stand. Set for launch in the 3rd Quarter of 2008, the resulting HAMILTON C2 is a confident and friendly ventilator that empowers operators to take patient care to new levels of safety, reliability, and comfort.
When you're on a ventilator, you need more just than oxygen... you need to look up and see the face of hope looking back at you. The C2 is designed to spread calm and reassurance through the ICU as it breathes life into patients.