With the goal of reinventing what has historically been an afterthought medical device element, EchoNous commissioned an iconic industrial designer and solicited advice from clinicians and biomedical leaders at one of the nation's top health systems to create a new docking station for nurses.
The result is the AI Station, an expandable platform that integrates the company's current intelligent tools, the Uscan bladder scanner and the EchoNous Vein, as well as devices still in development. EchoNous said the new station will use emerging artificial intelligence methods along with the company's miniaturized ultrasound platform.
“Everything from colors to selection of materials to the most minute of daily functions were reconsidered from a blank sheet of paper and through a fresh set of eyes,” said Niko Pagoulatos, the chief operating officer at EchoNous. “Quite importantly we have integrated a flexible electronic hub into the AI Station, aimed at both current and newly emerging AI functionality tasks.”
The company hired Dave Schenone, Nike's former global footwear creative director and product innovation director, to help design the new station from the ground up based on direct input from nurses and biomedical engineers. Prior to Nike, Schenone held design positions at Xerox Advanced Research Center, the Atari Corporation, and Hewlett Packard.
Key design elements include a more narrow lateral design for better maneuvering in tight spaces, a lower base height to fit underneath a hospital bed — enabling the entire cart to be closer to the patient, probe cords docked in an “inner channel” to prevent snagging and tripping, and importantly the use of the best materials available today in consideration of aggressive infection control techniques used in hospitals today.
EchoNous said it chose AI Station materials with the goal of optimizing durability and cleanability while maintaining a low weight for ease of maneuvering. Featured materials include chemically-resistant anodized aluminum, Tritan plastic, specifically designed for durability and offering a much higher level of chemical resistance than previous generation polymers, and stainless steel which is widely recognized for its high resistance to chemicals.