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Adaptation concept for a wound healing device.

  • Concept of Adaption. Articulated arm connects the stand with the device.

  • This video introduces the concept of adaptation.

    This video introduces the concept of adaptation.

  • Concept of Adaption. The interface gives feedback about the right application to the user.

  • Evolution of design.

  • Usability Testing to evaluate different prototypes.

  • Technical prototype that was used to test the interface and measure the distances.

Was es macht

The startup Piomic has developed a wound healing device that accelerates wound healing. It could previously only be used for lower legs. In this project an adaptation concept for this device was developed, with which different body parts can be treated.

Deine Inspiration

There are about 50 million people worldwide suffering from wounds that do not heal properly. Chronic wounds lead to pain, immobility and high treatment costs. In an interdisciplinary collaboration between the ETH Zurich and the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), we had the opportunity to further develop this wound healing device for the startup Piomic. The interdisciplinary teamwork between mechanical engineering and design has shaped and enriched our work. The most attractive aspect of the project was the high social relevance and the work in the field of medicine.

So funktioniert es

The system consists of an articulated arm and a stand with wheels. A magnetic ball joint connects the device and the articulated arm. Thus the device can be easily adjusted to any position, removed from the system and reattached. The wound healing technology in this device is based on a pulsed magnetic field in combination with infrared radiation. Since the intensity of the radiation and the magnetic field strength strongly depend on the position, it is necessary that this device maintains a distance from device to body of 0-1 cm during treatment. This adaptation concept includes 5 infrared sensors, which measure the distance between the device and the wound. An interaction design visually and audibly tells the user whether the device is being applied correctly. This interaction design has been tested and validated in participants with a medical background.


In order to have a better understanding of the user needs, we have visited the different contexts of wound care, talked to nurses and patients and observed them. From these findings we have formed personas. On the basis of these personas, scenarios for typical application situations were created. The processes in wound therapy are very decisive because nursing staff are under time pressure and the sterility of the wounds must be guaranteed. A morphological box was used to divide the various subfunctions of the system and explore many potential ways to solve this problem. These solutions were compared in a benefit analysis and favorites were selected. The favorites were realized and tested using rapid prototyping. During the project two usability tests were carried out, one for the process and one for the interaction design. These tests enabled us to detect usability and security errors and iteratively improve our concept.

Warum es anders ist

There is a lack of evidence-based methods for healing chronic wounds. This wound healing technology combines two promising methods of healing and shows good healing results. There are other technologies that accelerate wound healing. However, our system works without physical contact and pain. In medical treatment, due to the requirement of sterility, a lot of disposable material is used. Our system requires only one sterile film per treatment, which results in low waste and cost per treatment. In comparison to the existing fixation of Piomic, body fixation was excluded in our adaptation concept because many patients suffer from circulatory disorders and parchment skin, which is very sensitive to physical contact.

Pläne für die Zukunft

In the future we want to continue to work together as an interdisciplinary team "Strauss + Streit - Design + Engineering", because we have noticed the potential of our team through our bachelor thesis and the collaboration is a lot of fun for us.


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