Healthcare Taps & Showers
Through employing a healing environment philosophy our range is focused on delivering problem solving solutions with an easy to use interaction experiences and an approachable expert visual design language that communicates a professional feel to our products and builds confidence for all end users, surgeons, doctors, nurses, cleaning staff and patients.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Intelligent Care range significantly reduces the opportunity for bacteria to spread ensuring taps and showers play their part in the fight against Health Care Infections.
At its heart, a digital valve designed to deliver precise temperature, resist biofilms and bacteria and use less water. Designed to speed patient recovery the range is easy to clean and easy and safe to use. Taps use sophisticated gesture control and an App interface automates flushing and controls to guarantee compliance.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The Temperature adjustable taps use a natural gesture control system, a sophisticated capacitive sensing algorithm that responds to 4 key gestures. For health care professionals, wave to adjust and hover and hold offer touchless temperature controls reducing cross contamination. For patients less familiar with the products, press and hold or a tap tap gestures also adjusts temperature. The taps ability to recognise 4 behaviours results in all users feeling the product works just right for them. The dynamic hidden to lit LED feedback that appears when the tap is activated, confirms user adjustment and builds confidence. The interface has high-contrast coloured graphics with plus and minus symbols for international, visually-impaired and colour blind users.
The showers are carefully considered, the design is uncomplicated, with simple, well crafted, light-touch familiar lever operation. A short and longer lever option allow for maximum usability for arthritis patients or more robust for mental health where increased strength is necessary. One-handed adjustable shower brackets allow limited dexterity users extending independence.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started with a multidisciplinary workshop in Milan 2011 with design and engineering completed in Cheltenham 2015, the range was exhibited at ISH Frankfurt 2015.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
An estimated 6 million Health Care Associated Infections occurred in the US and Europe last year alone, 136,000 of those resulted in death. However, the real tragedy is that a full third of the fatalities were preventable.
Hand washing is considered the most important way of reducing HCAIs, but infections associated with environments involving water and patients are spreading, infections such as Legionella, MRSA and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa.
The water outlet is only one component of a safe water system. However our Intelligent Care range of taps and showers significantly reduces the opportunity for bacteria to spread, and ensures taps and showers play their part in the fight against infections.
The range is the result of a holistic approach, based on global user and stakeholder research, combining elegant engineering with meaningful visually design and effortless user experience.
At the heart of this range is our pioneering intelligent thermostatic valve that has been engineered to 3 key principles, reduced size, internal simplicity and use only the best microbe resistant materials.
Firstly, we significantly reduced the internal dimensions of the valve, which means less material in contact with water for biofilms to develop on. Keeping the internal design small also minimised the residual volume of water and increased water velocity, helping to impair biofilms ability to take hold even at low flow rates.
Secondly, by simplifying the internal design and ensuring all the water is flushed out on every use, we have dramatically reduced bacterias ability to spread.
Finally, carefully selected materials minimise the risk of biofilm formation. We eliminated plastics, used silicon rubber wherever possible and replaced all other materials with copper or brass with smooth bore surfaces.
The healing environment has also been considering for the aesthetic and interaction design of the Intelligent Care range. Physical surroundings play a role in hospital care and are a contributing factor in patient recovery. The aesthetic qualities of our range are designed to encourage such a healing environment.
Through a healthcare equipment design approach our range is focused on delivering problem solving solutions with an easy to use interaction experiences and an approachable expert visual design language that communicates a professional feel to our products and builds confidence for all end users, surgeons, doctors, nurses, cleaning staff and patients.
Our range has been designed from scratch and every join, every surface, every single component in the range has been reconsidered. Everything conforms to three key principles, make it easy to clean, easy to use and safe to use.
The range is not only visually clean but it is shaped to conform to the human hand for efficient cleaning in mind and with clever design and new high tolerance materials we have minimised the critical joints and crevices where bacteria can form. The innovative clear moulded layer over the taps interface graphics not only protects it when cleaned, up to 8 times a day, but it creates a high quality appearance that is easy to clean. Our showerheads have spray plates that are removable for deep cleaning, their nozzles made in silicon rubber to further resist bacteria build up.
The Intelligent Care range goes a stage further in the fight against infection through a number of automated functions that can be set up on each product over WiFi, Bluetooth or Network. Our iPad and Windows App offer a whole spectrum of flushing regimes. Automatic duty flushing to refresh water and a unique cold only flush to help keep the temperature in the cold water pipes within compliance levels. Thermal disinfection or hot water purging is made easy through the use of our valves intelligence and ensures the disinfection is to national guidelines and can reduce water consumption.
Advanced verification and recording of each process allows hospitals to monitor the correct operation of the selected control measures, which not only maximises user safety but makes it extremely simple to log and archive data guaranteeing compliance and saving labour costs.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Tap MX1 40C - 63mm x 195mm x 221mm
Shower VX1 30L - 187mm x 51mm x 187mm
Shower VX1 10L - 233mm x 97mm x 76mm
Tap, Shower, Healthcare, Digital, App, Interface, Rada, Intelligent Care, HCAI, Infections, Hospital, Bacteria, Experience, Valve, Aesthetic, Interaction, Healing, Environment, Compliance
The first approach in our insights phase was to conduct 70 in-depth interviews, up to 3 hours long, with stakeholders ranging from cleaning staff, infection control and occupational therapists to healthcare architects, plumbers, M&E consultants, healthcare clients and facilities managers in the UK across mainland Europe and in North America.
The first half of the interviews consisted of targeted questions to understand with greater accuracy the current route to market and the selection process for taps and showers in the healthcare sector. We understood some of the problems in healthcare water management but we wanted a clear understanding of specifier considerations and how compliance and guidelines drove decisions.
The second half of the interview was a discussion around a hypothesis range of products. We had created a best practice hypothesis product range to use as a basis for discussion designed to create a both positive and negative feedback from the stakeholders. This approach allowed us to establish what solutions would work for them and what would be seen as risk giving us much greater understandings of their true problems and where to innovate.
We simultaneously conducted global interviews with end users, nurses, surgeons, anesthetists and a cross section of patients. We used a journey mapping technique to establish what a day in the life of these users looked like and what tasks and any issues they would face. We were able to understand what functionality they would need and look for innovation opportunities to improve the experience.
Finally once we had physical prototypes of the product range we conducted end user testing employing field trial methods and onsite in a hospital ward. We hired a hospital training ward and set up our new taps to test them in as real a scenario as possible. We recruited nurses, doctors, surgeons and patients to test the products, we also asked people who passed the ward to try out the prototype. Each person carried out a set of tasks from simple hand washing, surgical scrub-up to teeth cleaning and simply filling a glass of water. The testing was recorded for further analysis and highlighted the need to develop our capacitive sensing interface with gesture recognition system that responded to 4 key gestures. For health care professionals; wave to adjust and hover and hold for touchless temperature control to reduce cross contamination. For patients less familiar with the products a press and hold and tap-tap gesture was needed to accommodate temperature control. The taps ability to recognise 4 interaction behaviours results in all users feeling the product works just right for them.
One of the biggest challenges was to challenge the internal culture of the business. For a very successful engineering business to take on such a new approach and embark on a global design research project to gain true insight and innovate contextually was a big challenge.
TEAM MEMBERS (21) :
Ian Thompson, Dave Pixton, Sam Stevens, Kevin Peel, Rich Hopson, Chris Duke, Alex Fagg, Barry Hobbs, Phil Ineson, Mark Barton, James Chadd, Xiangzhen Zhu, James Bourne, Rich Burns, Stuart Sheil, Sean Conway, Andy Warner, Ian Connolly, Nic Burridge, Steve Gamble and Eoin McQuone
All video and photos by Rada
Microbugless fail safe - 2778485, 1304537.2, 104048088, 2778485, 2511799, 2016/0025235, 9182047,
Microbugless structure - 2013/190381, 2503279, 2864677,
Microbugless interface - 61982999, 2015/0308084, 2015/0308089,
Microbugless - 29488351, 29488365, 2937760, 2937478,