Andrew Kim / Art Center College of Design
Pal IV Pump System
Art Center College of Design
Pal IV Pump System
Not only does this design pay attention to people’s physical need, but also their psychological needs in their most painful period.
Pal IV Pump System
Pal is a complete re-thinking of the traditional IV pump, positioning the fluid bags and mechanics low to the ground. This allows the user to effortlessly pull the device, making daily tasks easier and motivating activity in patients. Pal considers the happiness of the patient with a “patient mode” on the display where the patient receives messages of motivation instead of the complex and data driven interface that the nurse requires. Nurses are able to load fluids more easily than traditional systems, guided by an interface with a simple step-by-step layout.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The big challenge when designing Pal was rethinking the entire premise of the IV system. Through interviews, it became clear that the image of IV therapy was an icon of illness. Patients on IV feel the profound psychological affects of being very ill. Pal strives to reduce this affect and help accelerate the healing process by helping the patient feel happy.
The device could be much more mobile: A traditional IV system is top-heavy, making it difficult to move and prone to being knocked over.
The caregiver experience could be smoother: There were problems – from the UI, to the loading of the fluid bags. Resolving these issues required a new method of delivering fluid to the patient. This created a challenge in finding the solution for fluid delivery that used standard fluid bags and tubing.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
The initial challenge was to design an evolution of the IV system. The existing products were broken in too many aspects. I really wanted to rethink the entire premise of the IV system from ergonomics to psychological effects. This resulted in a completely new form factor and take on what an IV system looks and acts like. I also desperately wanted to achieve an holistic experience that was missing in the products available today. This resulted in a new interface that brings clarity and efficiency to the dinosaur interfaces in current systems. In the end, I ended up designing everything from the aesthetics, interactions, mechanics and software to achieve my vision.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
Before designing, I made sure that I was trained to operate an IV system. I was able to observe nurses and was able to find training videos that walked through the set-up process. This allowed me to understand the function and flaws. The observational and personal findings at this stage made me understand that the set-up and user interface needed a big overhaul for the benefit of nurses. I then interviewed numerous people including patients, nurses from around the globe to professors, including one from Harvard. These people with direct experience were key to providing comments on what was wrong with existing products. I discovered at this stage that there was a bigger issue on hand than just designing a “better” IV stand. There was an overarching issue with the psychological and ergonomic comfort of the patients. After designing with these new findings in mind, I brought the design back to these experts to get their feedback. After I got a secondary stage of feedback, I further enhanced the design and in the end, resulted in a product that everyone from the patient to the nurses were excited about and wanting to see in use.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
The motto for this project was to treat “patients” and not “conditions.” Pal offers a new approach to medical design where the psychological affect of the product’s use is considered. A hospital doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Current medical care is only mainly focused on the cure, and not comfort. The interaction display features a “patient mode” that hides the intimidating nurses’ UI and presents messages promoting happiness for the patient. The goal is to accelerate comfort to increase effectiveness of the treatment. The patient isn’t the only user interacting with Pal though. Pal has an intuitive step-by-step caregiver UI that reduces error and makes nurses more efficient. The new pumping mechanism also reduces steps of set-up by 75%, making lives for nurses more easy.
Negative stigma is eliminated with the new form factor.
Peristaltic pump system allows lower center of gravity.
The lower center of gravity makes it easier to move for patient and caregiver alike.
Four loading steps are reduced to one.
UX uses an intuitive touch screen with two interfaces – one for caregiver, one for patient.