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Ximedica

Ximedica is a medical device company that designs and develops healthcare products from initial research through full-scale manufacturing. At Ximedica, I consulted on a variety of life-saving medical devices alongside other designers, engineers, production staff, and business development team members. 

CHOP - Project Overview

Introduction

The majority of my time at Ximedica was dedicated to one client, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The CHOP project was the biggest contract in Ximedica's history and set out to create a groundbreaking incubation chamber to drastically improve survival rates among premature babies.

 

I worked on the CHOP project from the prototyping stage through to engineer hand-off. 

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CHOP - Usability Improvements

Introduction

Of the three main teams on CHOP, I was the sole designer on the pod team. My team handled the incubation pod and its interaction points with the rest of the console. In most situations, the engineering team had a functional prototype and it was my role to propose human-centered design improvements to increase usability.

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Usability Testing

The first step I took in each usability improvement project was to test the current design with multiple participants. In this case, there was no in-context prototype so I created a testing set-up that matched the current CAD dimensions. I instructed 3 testers to perform the required task and recorded difficulties with the design.

  • Having the touch point above the pod creates a pinch point where the hand is stuck between the pin and pod in lower positions.

  • Pulling the pin horizontally while trying to raise the mechanism vertically is difficult.

  • The highest position requires awkward bending to reach through the portholes

Ideation

Once I had a better understanding of the pain points, the next step I took was to sketch out potential solutions. In these sketches, I explored improvements to the pod loading process to ensure alignment and provide visual confirmation once aligned.

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Concept - Internal Handle

After sharing the ideation sketches with my team I took their feedback and create refined sketches to present to the larger team as a potential solution. This sketch was a proposed replacement for the spring pin mechanism that currently raised and lowered the pod. The advantages of this solution are:

Pros:

  • Touchpoint at the side increases accessibility in all positions

  • One motion to disengage the lock and adjust the height

  • Reduces risk of bumping pod or pinching hand

Cons:

  • Doesn't solve for rotation

Concept - External Handle

An alternative to the above concept was an external handle as shown in this sketch. This concept had multiple advantages over other solutions.

Pros:

  • Reduced use steps and sanitary risk of entering the canopy

  • Increased accessibility and visual representation of height from the exterior

  • Solves for rotational adjustments 

Cons:

  • Introduces additional sealing needs

  • Requires clearance outside of the canopy

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Concepts - Pod Transfer & Locking

These refined sketches combined the best aspects of prior ideas in 3 areas, a passive pod locking system, an active pod locking system, and a simple transfer tray alignment method. 

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Concept - Pod Hinge

The next two concepts explore alignment and latching methods for the pod top. The current prototype had a permanently hinged top that needed to be re-designed as a separate component. This concept aligns the base and top of the pod through a cylindrical hinge. It also reduces the number of latches needed for the removable top while maintaining a high sealing pressure on both sides of the pod.

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Concept - Pod Latch

This concept aligns the base and top with three posts before sealing with three latches. The posts ensure an intuitive alignment method that can't be connected in the wrong orientation. 

CHOP - System Labeling

Label Iterations

Outside of the pod team, I supported the console team with graphic creation for a variety of system labels. These labels marked components for identification, as well as guided users through more complicated tasks like routing system lines properly. 

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Label Renderings

The final labels we landed on utilized "attention yellow" from the system CMF guide and simple black text. These are some in-context renderings I created for the console team that showcases where each label is placed on the system. 

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Testing with Client

The labels were used in a full-system walkthrough that we held with the client over a two-day period. In this testing, the client went through every step of using the system, of which a major step is routing the PSS lines as shown above. The labels performed well in testing and did not require changes coming out of the walkthrough.

CHOP - Blister Packaging

Modeling

Another project I worked on in preparation for the client walkthrough was blister packaging for the pod. This packaging wasn't meant for manufacturing so there were few requirements beyond imitating what the eventual packaging might look like. To create this packaging I modeled around the current base and top geometry while adding features like recesses to make it easier to remove the components.

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Testing with Client

I worked with Ximedica's model shop to 3D print the models, then test-fitted and sealed the components inside with a clear plastic film. Similar to the system labeling in the previous section, the pod packaging performed as expected in the testing and encountered no issues. 

Project Documentation

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Photography

One of my roles on the design team was to capture photographs of client meetings and project walkthroughs. The main focus areas when documenting events like these were:

  • Capturing key product use moments for reference in further work

  • Capturing images of team and clients for project or marketing use

  • Documenting process errors

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Editing and Sharing

Equally as important as the images themselves were editing, organizing, and preparing the photographs for the team and client. Usually, this process began with batch editing of the photos in Lightroom, followed by more detailed edits to photos requested by the client or team members. 

Biomarin Haselmeier

Introduction

On this project, I provided design support in developing an auto-injector pen. The engineering team had a prototype injector and required a more ergonomic form factor before presenting it to the client. I also worked on labeling and packaging explorations for the injector.  

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Modeling

In these CAD models, I explored various alterations to the pen's surface to increase grip when rotating the body of the injector. Some considerations when designing these models were:

  • The injector body needs to retain a smooth surface for labeling

  • All three sections of the injector are interacted with and require features to increase grip

  • Both viewing windows must be unobstructed

Prototyping

After creating a few promising CAD models, I 3D printed the auto-injectors to test in person. Each injector had 3 sections that could be mixed and matched with other models to create the ideal form combination. I tested the prototypes with my team and we landed on a rounded square profile for the best mix of grip and simplicity.

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Labeling Ideation

Alongside the form explorations, I created labeling concepts to guide the user through injector use. I worked through four sets of labels with the team. The first iterations were mostly grayscale and tested for the most effective wording. The further iterations focused on aesthetic and format changes. All four iterations were developed with feedback from the human factors team and our senior graphic designer. 

Labeling Concept

This is the final concept I landed on with the injector labeling. The user is guided through the proper use step-by-step, and arrows direct the user's attention to the proper location.

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Packaging

The last deliverable for this project was a packaging concept and model. After testing multiple color schemes I created the model in the middle photograph, a clean and compact design. After sharing it with the team I decided to create an additional packaging concept that traded an increase in size for a more user-friendly design. The model on the right labels each injector with a day of the week to help users track whether or not they have taken their medication for the day.

Ximedica Purpose Card

Updated Vision and Mission

Ximedica held a company-wide ideation session to create gather input on what employees believed the vision and mission of Ximedica to be. The leadership team reviewed the responses and rolled out new vision/mission statements, along with 6 core values of the company. Following this, the leadership team asked me to create a purpose card that captures one or all of these outcomes.

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Purpose Card Ideation

The initial concept from the leadership team was a two-sided letterpress card that could be given to every employee as a reminder of our values. I explored what these cards could look like by creating about 20 different front/back designs that highlighted our mission, vision, or values. After reviewing these with our design director I narrowed the designs down to 6 layouts and decided to limit the card to one side as it would most likely be pinned up near employees' desks.  

Infinite Card

An alternate concept I explored alongside the letterpress card was an infinite folding design that added an interactive element to the purpose cards. While these cards offered a playful interaction, I decided not to continue in this direction in favor of a more practical, pin-up design. 

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Final Design

After a quick check-in with the leadership team to select their favorite of the six refined designs, they asked me to combine three of the cards into one design. This card was the result and the final design that I worked with a local letterpress company to produce.

Xi Newsletter

Previous Newsletter

Another project I created for the leadership team was an updated newsletter template. The team had attempted a newsletter previously but ran into a few problems with the design that they asked me to overcome. The previous newsletter was:
 

  • A very long file with dual columns competing for attention

  • A PDF that required readers to select the correct viewing mode in Acrobat

  • Created in a format inaccessible to the leadership team, requiring back-and-forth with a designer to update

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Updated Newsletter

When working on this project the first step I took was to switch to PowerPoint. This simple change solved each previous issue by breaking up the information into digestible chunks and moving it to a format that every employee could easily read and edit. From there I created slide templates to cover common information that would be included in the newsletter, such as upcoming events, meeting recaps, and new hire bios. Once I finished the deck template and handed it off to the leadership team they were able to easily edit the text and replace photos. Here is a look at the first newsletter after my updates.

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Thank you for viewing!

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