Respirators in Flight

Hamilton Respiratory Ventilator

Client:     Hamilton Medical

Awards:     IDEA Research (2014); T1 — IDEA Design (2013); T1 — GOOD Design (2012); C1 — GOOD Design (2011); C2 — MDEA Silver (2010), GOOD (2009), Spark Award Bronze (2009)

Looking at real use environments, understanding the pain points of the users, and turning these observations into product design – that is how co-operating with RKS leads to successful, new solutions.
— Ralph Teuber, Head of Product Management


Design Advanced Transportation Ventilators

Hamilton Medical, a provider of respiratory ventilators and medical devices, collaborated with RKS to develop a new and more efficient category of transport-optimized ventilators. The challenge was to incorporate the best features of full-sized, static ventilators into more compact portable units, in order to provide a caregiver-centric solution for optimized patients’ outcomes.


Studied the Needs of Caregivers in Critical Situations

The design team conducted ethnographic research studies to identify pain-points and needs of caregivers in various transport settings: intra hospital transport, transport between hospitals and emergency transport. The major pain points identified were disconnecting patients from hoses and ventilators, unpredictable and challenging transport maneuvers and difficulties with cramped spaces like small elevators. Mobility had to be ensured through a small footprint, lightweight materials and rugged, yet compact housings, mountings, batteries and cords. Furthermore, research revealed that the ventilator would need to be simple to operate without losing its depth of functionality.


Optimized Ventilators from Accident to Recovery

A portfolio of three products was created to satisfy intra hospital (C1), emergency transport (T1) and MRI usage (M1). To accommodate each scenario, universal attachments were developed for helicopter mounts, and bedside attachment and mobility was optimized through well-considered ruggedness, hot swappable batteries and advanced circuit and cord design. Each design features straightforward display layout, intelligent knob and control placement and adaptable alert parameters, which allow caregivers to fully focus on the patient and less on the machine, especially during transport. These highly portable respiratory ventilators, provide vital, life-saving support in a rugged, ergonomically refined, intuitive, and affordable package in order to better serve both caregivers and patients.