Intelligent Care (Healthcare Taps & Showers) by Ian Thompson
2015 - 2016, Platinum A' Bathroom Furniture and Sanitary Ware Design Award Winner
Inspiration
Through employing a healing environment philosophy our range is focused on delivering problem solving solutions with an easy to use interaction experiences and an approachable expert visual design language that communicates a professional feel to our products and builds confidence for all end users, surgeons, doctors, nurses, cleaning staff and patients.
Creativity
The Intelligent Care range significantly reduces the opportunity for bacteria to spread ensuring taps and showers play their part in the fight against Health Care Infections. At its heart, a digital valve designed to deliver precise temperature, resist biofilms and bacteria and use less water. Designed to speed patient recovery the range is easy to clean and easy and safe to use. Taps use sophisticated gesture control and an App interface automates flushing and controls to guarantee compliance.
Design Challenges
One of the biggest challenges was to challenge the internal culture of the business. For a very successful engineering business to take on such a new approach and embark on a global design research project to gain true insight and innovate contextually was a big challenge.
Production Technology
An estimated 6 million Health Care Associated Infections occurred in the US and Europe last year alone, 136,000 of those resulted in death. However, the real tragedy is that a full third of the fatalities were preventable. Hand washing is considered the most important way of reducing HCAIs, but infections associated with environments involving water and patients are spreading, infections such as Legionella, MRSA and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. The water outlet is only one component of a safe water system. However our Intelligent Care range of taps and showers significantly reduces the opportunity for bacteria to spread, and ensures taps and showers play their part in the fight against infections. The range is the result of a holistic approach, based on global user and stakeholder research, combining elegant engineering with meaningful visually design and effortless user experience. At the heart of this range is our pioneering intelligent thermostatic valve that has been engineered to 3 key principles, reduced size, internal simplicity and use only the best microbe resistant materials. Firstly, we significantly reduced the internal dimensions of the valve, which means less material in contact with water for biofilms to develop on. Keeping the internal design small also minimised the residual volume of water and increased water velocity, helping to impair biofilms ability to take hold even at low flow rates. Secondly, by simplifying the internal design and ensuring all the water is flushed out on every use, we have dramatically reduced bacterias ability to spread. Finally, carefully selected materials minimise the risk of biofilm formation. We eliminated plastics, used silicon rubber wherever possible and replaced all other materials with copper or brass with smooth bore surfaces. The healing environment has also been considering for the aesthetic and interaction design of the Intelligent Care range. Physical surroundings play a role in hospital care and are a contributing factor in patient recovery. The aesthetic qualities of our range are designed to encourage such a healing environment. Through a healthcare equipment design approach our range is focused on delivering problem solving solutions with an easy to use interaction experiences and an approachable expert visual design language that communicates a professional feel to our products and builds confidence for all end users, surgeons, doctors, nurses, cleaning staff and patients. Our range has been designed from scratch and every join, every surface, every single component in the range has been reconsidered. Everything conforms to three key principles, make it easy to clean, easy to use and safe to use. The range is not only visually clean but it is shaped to conform to the human hand for efficient cleaning in mind and with clever design and new high tolerance materials we have minimised the critical joints and crevices where bacteria can form. The innovative clear moulded layer over the taps interface graphics not only protects it when cleaned, up to 8 times a day, but it creates a high quality appearance that is easy to clean. Our showerheads have spray plates that are removable for deep cleaning, their nozzles made in silicon rubber to further resist bacteria build up. The Intelligent Care range goes a stage further in the fight against infection through a number of automated functions that can be set up on each product over WiFi, Bluetooth or Network. Our iPad and Windows App offer a whole spectrum of flushing regimes. Automatic duty flushing to refresh water and a unique cold only flush to help keep the temperature in the cold water pipes within compliance levels. Thermal disinfection or hot water purging is made easy through the use of our valves intelligence and ensures the disinfection is to national guidelines and can reduce water consumption. Advanced verification and recording of each process allows hospitals to monitor the correct operation of the selected control measures, which not only maximises user safety but makes it extremely simple to log and archive data guaranteeing compliance and saving labour costs.
       
     
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