Designing an optimal mobile medical workstation

Design Central didn’t just make Midmark a more functional mobile medical workstation—we delivered an award-winning medical pack mule. Midmark engaged us to improve the medical care exchange . To understand what mattered most to customers, both companies visited care facilities to talk with stakeholders, identify needs and define priorities. Our most meaningful observation? Facilities needed a workstation to accommodate caregivers of different heights. We collaboratively designed a workstation with a small footprint and great range of mobility that could be easily height-adjusted and used in many configurations. The result? A silver award for Midmark at the Healthcare Design Expo + Conference.

Client
  • Midmark
Industry
  • Healthcare
Capabilities
  • Strategy
  • Product Design
  • Engineering
  • Prototyping
  • User Experience

Objective: Create a more versatile mobile medical workstation that could adapt to a diverse population of caregivers, optimize workflow in the care exchange and accommodate Midmark’s vertically integrated manufacturing processes.

Understanding caregiver and client needs leads to successful design

A collective understanding of the caregiver population drove the direction of the project, allowing Design Central to focus on creating a workstation with a wider range of motion to accommodate a vast range of users. Midmark also needed a product with customizable and technology-driven work surfaces so medical professionals had everything they’d need to do their job—to enhance the care exchange experience. Working collaboratively with Midmark, we strategized around the production of the workstation, too, as Midmark manufacturing is vertically integrated and wanted to use in-house manufacturing processes to keep costs low.

Thoughtful engineering improves range of motion and ease of use

Our engineering team’s greatest challenge centered on that range of motion. The workstation also had to travel smoothly, lift and lower easily and adapt quickly so that a diverse group of caregivers could comfortably use it. Our design team focused on design for manufacture and assembly (DFMA), keeping fasteners and other more functional aspects hidden so the workstation would fit aesthetically into diverse medical environments. Overall, we emphasized simplicity.

Prototypes confirm manufacturing compatibility

Design Central created three beta prototypes for Midmark to prove the workstation’s compatibility with their eight different systems configurations. We also sent Midmark prototyped parts along the way to be tested in their manufacturing facilities. To ensure successful assembly, Midmark invited Design Central to participate in the process, which helped to inform final design and engineering decisions before we transferred all pre-production computer-aided design (CAD) databases for all systems, assemblies and individual parts. Our engineers developed within the Midmark PDM system to act as a seamless integrated design development team.

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