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ErgoTech is an innovative concept that focuses on handheld ergonomics to improve surgeons’ comfort and to reduce wrist strain while preforming laparoscopic surgery.

Do czego to służy

Current tools cause excessive flexion of the wrist which can cause repetitive strain injury in surgeons. ErgoTech allows for a more neutral hand position which reduces the pressure on the radial digital nerve of the thumb and the palmar branch of the wrist.

Twoja inspiracja

During the summer of 2022, I embarked on a month-long internship shadowing a medical device design. This experience uncovered a inspiration to design in the medical device space. I learned that medical devices were design by male engineers/designers for male hands. I wanted to design a device that improved the overall ergonomics of surgery but also to improve patient outcomes and prolong a surgeon’s surgical career. An interview with a cardiovascular surgeon who performs laparoscopic surgery, uncovered the poorly designed tools in this area of laparoscopic surgery. I believe there is a lot of improvement needed in the area of medical design.

Jak to działa

ErgoTech places the surgeon’s hand in a more neutral position compared to the current tools on the market (see image 5). This not only reduces the overall strain felt by the surgeon but also prolongs their medical career. The current tools on market control the opening of the end feed (jaws) via the opening and closing of the thumb which causes the surgeon strain. The new design allows for easy manipulation of the jaws via a single finger trigger. This reduces the overall muscular activity used during surgery, which decreases the likelihood of repetitive strain injuries. Research uncovered that the rotating mechanism caused major strain to the surgeon’s index figure, the new design allows for easy rotation of the jaws using a scroll wheel activated by the thumb (See image 1).

Proces projektowania

This project involved extensive design research, analysis, and iterations, including the study of ergonomics in surgery and the analysis of current designs. I conducted several interviews with practicing surgeons to uncover insights and pain points in order to find an area to design for. The prototyping process involved creating foam models, 3D scanning, and 3D printing, while the detailed design focused on features, mechanisms, ergonomics, and user interaction. The form of the design was inspired by gaming controllers. Over 50 prototypes were created (see image 2) for this project and each design being slightly iterated from the previous. This was aided by the feedback I got from user testing with surgeons and medical students in RCSI. Several Simulation analyses were conducted on fusion 360 to evaluate the stress and moulding analysis of the design. Many manufacturing methods were discussed such as injection moulding, extrusion, and CNC machining, with stainless steel, ABS glass-reinforced, and silicone. Finally, the communication of the final design involved 3D CAD models, drawings, and high-fidelity prototypes. A final fully functioning prototype was created and used to gain valuable insights from users in the field.

Jak to się różni

ErgoTech uses the basic understanding of ergonomics to better palace the surgeon's hand into a more comfortable position. The development of medical devices is a rapidly changing field. Research indicates a clear need to improve the ergonomics of laparoscopic instruments, leading to advances in the efficiency of surgical practise. It is also clear that human factors such as improving comfort, reducing fatigue and injury for surgeons are critical, which will impact positively on the effectivity surgical training and a longer professional operating life for surgeons. Crucially, improvements in this area will also lead to improved outcomes and experiences for those of us who may require surgery. By increasing efficiency, improving precision, and reducing surgeon fatigue, ErgoTech can revolutionise the medical device industry by simply following basic ergonomic guidelines.

Plany na przyszłość

I have investigated patents and licensing for the design with TUDublin HotHouse, however we never closed a deal. Through talks with a patent attorney, it was clear that there are areas in the design that can be patented/protected. I do not want to rush into a deal where I sign off intellectual property without fully understanding the deal. I have plans to develop ErgoTech further with HotHouse, who will take me on if I chose to. I have also been in talks with i360 medical about progressing the idea further. To be completely transparent, I hope I can develop it further to help surgeons but I need the correct guidance to do so.


I won the Design on the Frontline scholarship from the HSE receiving €1,000 bursary. I was then shortlisted an became one of 4 national winners who were asked to speak at the Spark Innovation Conference Summit 2023.

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