User Centric Focus Key to Successful Redesign of Urine Monitoring Device

User Centric Focus Key to Successful Redesign of Urine Monitoring Device

PDD's innovative, integrated approach to medical device development has paid off with the announcement that it has won a Gold Award for Unomedical's UnoMeter Safeti Plus urine monitoring device, at the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards held on 22 October 2009. DBA Awards Judge Lucy Reynolds from BP commented, "a great example of practical, no frills design, focused on making life easier for the user - borne out of strong consultation and research."

PDD's work for Unomedical, a ConvaTec company, to research and develop the successor to its UnoMeter Safeti urine monitoring device for hourly diuresis management, was a textbook example of PDD's ethos of combining consumer insight specialists with designers and engineers throughout the design process. The result for Unomedical, is a product that has had an immediate effect on their top line, and was the single biggest driver of the company's new product sales.

The Design Business Association (DBA), works to promote the central role of design in achieving commercial growth and success. The annual DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are prestigious and authoritative, being the only award scheme that uses commercial data as a key judging criteria. Judges are exclusively brand owners and this year included senior marketers from eight top companies, including Durex, BP, Unilever and Shell.

UnoMeter Safeti Plus 02

PDD mapped the life of a urine monitoring device, from purchasing through to disposal, and defined the touch points, roles, needs and attitudes of all the stakeholders. This enabled PDD to identify common unmet needs and gain a clear understanding of purchasing drivers, whilst giving Unomedical a broad understanding of the practical and emotional challenge of hourly diuresis monitoring.

PDD's challenge was to add value. A clear message that emerged was that, although infection control is an important issue, customers were not prepared to tolerate a premium price for infection control features, unless they were fully documented and financially justified. Close collaboration with toolmakers and moulders enabled Unomedical and PDD to optimise product manufacture and assembly, and control final unit cost. Unomedical relaunched the product as the UnoMeter Safeti Plus in September 2007 in the UK, and throughout Europe between October 2007 and March 2008. The UnoMeter Safeti Plus was extremely well received in the market, and demand has significantly exceeded expectations. In two and a half months, Unomedical's investment in design and innovation had achieved breakeven.

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"We are extremely proud of the UnoMeter Safeti Plus and delighted that our work has been recognised by the Design Effectiveness Awards," commented Alun Wilcox Director of Medical at PDD. "The DBA's recognition of the importance of commercial impact dovetails perfectly with our own aspirations for our clients' brands and business."

Ulrik Langsager, ConvaTec Continence and Critical Care product portfolio manager, the efforts commented: "We are delighted with this Gold Award and with PDD's work. At ConvaTec we are committed to ensuring that innovation is a key driver in the success of our business. Therefore, we consistently monitor how new products impact our total turnover each year and set targets. The UnoMeter Safeti Plus has achieved revenues significantly higher than the forecasted innovation rate target".

"PDD's impressive research, conducted in hospitals across several European countries, identified specific areas of opportunity to improve the product's design," adds Paul Moraviec, President, ConvaTec Continence & Critical Care and EMEA Region. "Witnessing the 'work-arounds' employed by nurses to cope with the pressure of their working day led the team to make subtle yet important changes that have resulted in rapid customer acceptance, sales growth, and now, industry recognition for UnoMeter Safeti Plus."

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