Design of the Year 2016
Vscan Access
Show info
Product Manager and Engineer
GE Healthcare (Primary Care Ultrasound)
Ultrasound Engineering team
(Bangalore, India)
Product Management team
User Interface Designer and Product Designer
GE Healthcare (Global Design Group)
Bangalore India Studio
Shanghai, China Studio

Chemistry Form Pte Ltd (Singapore)

Icarus Design (Bangalore, India)

“The commitment from

the client to pursue a

human-centred design

process combined

with a strong working

relationship is at the

heart of delivering a

breakthrough solution

like Vscan Access.”

Vscan Access™ is an innovative ultrasound device designed to help healthcare workers assess pregnancy risks early and expand quality care to mothers who need it most. With Vscan Access™, midwives, paramedics, clinical officers and general practitioners can estimate gestational age and delivery date to help better plan and manage deliveries. They can conduct examinations that may result in early detection of potentially lifethreatening pregnancy complications, and guide critical decisions over the course of antenatal visits. The device wirelessly transfers data to patients, referral facilities or remote experts, ensuring accuracy and efficiency. The brainchild of GE Healthcare, the creation of Vscan Access™ involved GE Healthcare’s internal experts in design and engineering. Singapore-based creative design agency Chemistry was appointed by GE Healthcare to help with end-user research and to plan and facilitate creative workshops with multidisciplinary stakeholders. Through rigorous testing with midwives and general practitioners, Chemistry went on to deliver the complete design of the digital touchscreen user-interface. The depth of the initial field research and the rounds of testing helped the team refine the user experience to a level that made it naturally intuitive to the user. Aspects around consistency of icons, colour and placement of functions on the screen mean that a midwife could use the product almost immediately. The power of the touchscreen was leveraged to present contextually relevant information, thus helping to implicitly guide them through the steps they need to take. Elements that are not relevant are hidden away, reducing on-screen clutter to deliver an approachable and user-friendly experience.


GE Healthcare provides transformative medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. By working on things that matter by bringing great people and technologies together to take on challenges, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients. As one of the oldest centres of excellence at GE Healthcare, the GE Healthcare Global Design Group has touched hundreds of GE Healthcare products and achievements. Chemistry is a Singapore based creative agency founded in 2000. Today, it focuses on using Experience Design as a strategic tool to help companies foster a more creative culture and deliver human-centred solutions to its customers. Over the years, Chemistry has worked across diverse industry sectors to help organisations such as Singapore Tourism Board, GE Healthcare and Dell Technologies bring breakthrough ideas to market.


Every day, approximately 800 women around the world die from pregnancy-related causes that may have been prevented by early detection. Armed with this statistic and the fact that ultrasound devices play a crucial role in informing clinical decisions and pregnancy management, the team from GE Healthcare and Chemistry set out to redesign the standard ultrasound scanner from the ground up. The Vscan Access scanner is portable, durable and robust enough to withstand use in Third World conditions. It boasts a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy to learn and quick to use. With its apps and clinical utilities, it also provides an effective transfer of data and management of patient information to a nearby hospital, allowing for an additional level of expert advice and treatment instructions if required. The result is a system that is accessible, affordable, scalable and highly appropriate in the low resource setting for which it was designed. This project is a masterclass in human centred research, user interface design, and system integration. It brings critical healthcare to those who need it most. It is, above all else, a timely example of how a thoughtful and empathetic professional design can humanise a highly technical product and process.


Chew Moh Jin
Jin Jin Pte Ltd

Maternal and new-born health remain two of our most pressing priorities. Despite medical advances, many countries still need significant investment and cross-sector collaboration to help reduce pregnancy-related mortality. The World Health Organisation estimates that 70 percent of medical equipment coming from the most developed nations do not work in developing world facilities. GE Healthcare’s latest innovation is an ultrasound device that is designed to help primary health workers assess pregnancy risks early, and to help expand the reach of quality care to mothers who need it most. GE sought to rethink ultrasounds from the ground-up. A global team of engineers, designers and health experts, guided by a human-centric design process, worked over three years to develop Vscan Access. Chemistry, a Singapore-based creative design agency, was appointed by GE to carry out end-user research, run creative workshops with multi-disciplinary stakeholders, and develop and test prototype design solutions. Chemistry went on to develop the detailed design of the entire digital user interface. The work focused on putting a medical-grade device into the hands of primary healthcare workers who may not possess the experience and confidence to use such a product. It was therefore important to bring simplicity and ease of use into the user’s interaction with the on-screen digital interface. The result is a world-class product solution that is simple, durable, innovative and affordable. It significantly improves pregnancy management in developing countries.