Winner of the 2019 MDEA (Medical Design Excellence Awards)
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Tear Film Innovation ’s elegant iLux® Dry Eye Treatment System is designed to fit in the palm of an eye care professional’s hand. For the first time, dry eye can be treated effectively in the medical office.
This aesthetically striking instrument has a reduced sculptural look paired with a highly usable, uncomplicated user interface. The entire FDA-cleared solution empowers medical professionals to focus fully on patient care.
With Tear Film’s recent Alcon acquisition, iLux® is the perfect example of the ROI of Design. https://hbr.org/2014/04/design-can-drive-exceptional-returns-for-shareholders
Tear Film Innovations engaged with DDSTUDIO’s team of Industrial Design experts to design the iLux® Dry Eye Treatment System, a first-of-its-kind dry eye therapy.
Tear Film Co-Founder Brian Kelleher, with over 30 years in medical device development, was well aware of the value of Human Centered Design. He wanted the iLux® Dry Eye Treatment System Experience to be delightful at every touch point – out-of-the-box, set-up, treatment, charging and cleaning. In addition, the visual aesthetic must represent the level of technological invention and innovation. DDSTUDIO’s portfolio of award-winning medical devices and a prior project engagement helped secure DD as Tear Film’s design firm of choice to transform their vision for iLux® into a reality in record time.
The Context and Challenge
The co-founders of Tear Film Innovations invented a handheld device that uses heat with compression for the treatment of dry eye. While speed to market was a priority, their leadership knew that the working prototype needed Human Centered Design Expertise to refine their packaged technology into a highly usable, intuitive and aesthetically striking product.
The enclosure is a blend of metal, glass and plastic. DDSTUDIO’s challenge was to take the diverse areas of the existing hand-piece resolution as a starting point and develop into an integrated solution. In addition, the team was tasked with improving functionality of select touch points and to design a charging base that displayed iLux® when not in use. DDSTUDIO also defined the colors, finishes and materials to ensure the product would have a high perceived value. And they wanted it in four weeks, a very quick turnaround!
Process and Insight
The design process started with field research to study how the treatment would be embraced in context. It included interviews with eye care professionals to develop empathy for their workflow needs, and time with patients to understand their perspective before during and after the procedure. Designers learned the ideal usage scenarios including prep and clean-up.
Tear Film shared a Brand Vision document with reference images of competitive solutions and examples of products they felt achieved a great look and feel. This input inspired the design direction towards a sleek and sculpted form factor that conveys quality and usability.
DDSTUDIO created 3 concept directions with 3D printed mock-ups for feedback loops. The final deliverables were photo-realistic renderings, a CAD surface file of the external form and charging station along with an indication of colors, finishes and materials. And all was delivered within budget and schedule.
The Design Solution
Tear Film’s vision materialized through DDSTUDIO’s design expertise: A first-of-its- kind, hand-held device with an integrated magnifying lens, one-button control, a removable-tip applicator, and an uncomplicated user interface packaged seamlessly.
The device has gently sculpted and simple lines with an easy-to-read display. Transitions across materials are smooth. An illuminated magnifying lens is integrated into the hand piece, providing valuable usability while performing the treatment. Its uncluttered aesthetics convey value and efficacy.
Tear Film’s elegant iLux® Dry Eye Treatment System imparts a message of cutting-edge capabilities and expertise in the medical office. The entire FDA-cleared package, hand piece and charging station, is designed to optimize value, utility and workflow. iLux System is the product solution that eye care professionals have wanted and patients have needed for the fast and effective treatment for dry eye.