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.