Ryan Ramos | Nick Paterson | GE Healthcare Global Design
Cytell Image Cytometer
Cytell Image Cytometer
The Cytell Instrument is used by Scientists in a Scientific laboratory environment. It scans samples in a cartridge that is uniquely developed for the instrument, simplifying the loading and unloading of samples, unlike the current instruments in the market.
Cytell Image Cytometer
The Cytell is a Cytometer. It quickly simplifies the digital analysis of microscopic cells for uses such as producing data that can help in the diagnosis of cancer, testing the efficacy of drug treatment, and cell counting. The Cytell Instrument is used by Scientists in a Scientific laboratory environment. It scans samples in a cartridge that is uniquely developed for the instrument, simplifying the loading and unloading of samples, unlike the current instruments in the market.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?
Imagine you enter a scientific lab, what do you see? A chaotic landscape filled with tubes - bulky instruments that are relics of the past - or do you see a clean, organized intuitive environment that cultivates your skills and expertise? Current Cytometers are complex, bulky, instruments that are not easy to use. The current landscape of instruments does not convey the precision and intelligence that Scientists live and interact with outside of the laboratory. Our challenge was to increase the perception of quality, the attention to detail, and simplify the ability for scientists from all skill levels to use the instrument right out of the box.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
To create an instrument that changes the paradigm within the laboratory environment we needed to accomplish three things: Be Smart: Cytell is intelligent and sophisticated. The aesthetic metaphor of a cell shaped the instrument and defined our visual lexicon. The outer protective membrane protects the nucleus, and inturn Cytell’s outer case protects the intelligence and samples within. We reimagined the cartridge so that the Scientist could easily change the samples quickly and efficiently. Instrument lighting indicates which step of the process Cytell is in, and aesthetically established a signature element that differentiates the product from the rest of the market. Be Simple: The User Interface needed to be easy to use and visually tie to the form language of the exterior. Productivity is increased by reducing the number of clicks and time it takes to capture cellular measurements. The product needed to be ready to use out of the box unlike instruments in the field today. The aesthetic needed to be minimal, creating a sense of calm in a typically chaotic environment and create a link to the precision and science that happens within the instrument. Be Delightful: The instrument needed to create a sense of trust but also provide wonder and enjoyment when used. It is evident in the click as the cartridge engages and the light bar that simplifies the status of Cytell. It is more than just an instrument but an experience that encourages interaction.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)
When the Cytell project was brought to design it was an engineered product, with enclosures and usability that did not fulfill the needs of the users. We needed to reimagine the way the instrument would be used and interacted with and also create delight for the user. We took a step back and observed scientists interacting with current instruments. We synthesized their pain points by capturing their workflow and recreating the use of the instrument through mockups. Throughout the iteration process we found many key insights that helped us redefine everything from how the chassis was laid out, to the reduction of parts to simplify the solution. One example of a key insight was the use of a display on the instrument hardware. We found that by simplifying the interface to a light bar help to reduce the complexity of another display. It helped simplify the whole instrument from the internal components and also the reduced the complexity of the information that the user needed to know. From a materials standpoint we helped to reduce the weight of the instrument and also increase durability by using machined parts as well as create a product that was easy to service and ship to different locations globally. We also simplified service by creating an enclosure that could be removed quickly with one tool from the bottom of the instrument reducing the number of fasteners that hold the instrument together. Design also helped inspire marketing to launch a campaign that was unheard of within the Life Science arena creating a video launch that was inspired by mood boards and values that we developed during the design of the instrument. It was emotional and not only focused on the cellular images but the delight and ease of interaction that the Scientist had with the instrument.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.)
Cytell can help in the diagnosis of cancer. It also tests the of drug treatment through cellular analysis and cell counting. It is a source of developing new ways to inform scientists and is also used to create beautiful images that have been treated as art. It is a simple yet technologically sophisticated instrument that can provide information that potentially can help save lives and it delights it's users.