When Polibrixia, asked us to work on the design of a rehabilitation system that would change the landscape of the industry, we immediately knew our answer. We couldn’t say yes fast enough.
The product required would be a multifunctional medical device for active and passive rehabilitation of upper and lower limbs. Polibrixia has developed a patented technology that can be a true game changer in therapeutic paths and we were invited to create the entire ecosystem of the product, working from the research stage to product design, as well as taking care of branding.
The challenge was in being the end-to-end creator of something which needed complete precision, whilst operating under a relatively small, difficult-to-access knowledge base. A high level of research and effective collaboration would be required.
The physical rehabilitation industry is extremely technical and required knowledge is often retained in specialist centers. There is a vast range in the technologies used in rehabilitation instruments, but they are often seen only as complementary to physical therapy sessions.
Together with Polibrixia’s team we defined the strategy of the design project by conducting several research sessions with their engineering team and specialists in rehabilitation centers. This allowed us to understand the common recovery process problems and identify opportunities to increase the quality of treatment sessions - in terms of wellbeing, efficiency and the achievement of therapeutic targets.
The core questions that emerged were:
We explored the different contexts in which a patient would follow a rehabilitation program to figure out which of these scenarios were most commonplace.
At the beginning Lepre was conceived to serve both patients at home and in specialist centers. In the first phase we decided to concentrate on the first one in order to work on equipment with higher impact potential. In the future we hope to launch the home therapy device.
We focused on designing an instrument which was informative, enjoyable to use and could be easily moved.
After the first functional prototype had been developed and tested, we refined the concept to maximize its ergonomy of use in therapy centers, before focusing on the final design.
Our final iteration was an instrument that could be used by bedridden, reduced-mobility patients and wheelchair users, with simple lines that leave a large maneuvering space around the main body of Lepre.
Due to the large head of the device that houses the main hardware, we decided to increase the overall size of the instrument so that we could integrate more components inside the body.
The handle was built to have a dual functionality: a handling function when in a horizontal position and locking system when positioned vertically.
We decided to divide the handle into two specular elements in order to harmonize the shape and optimize the ergonomics of use.
We made the screen rotatable by 180°, allowing the therapist to use Lepre in a patient's viewing position from both sides of the equipment, causing no disruption to the therapist-patient relationship. The screen can be viewed front-on by the patient during exercises so that they can monitor their progress in real-time.
The heart of Lepre is the cranks that allow simultaneous rotational and translational movement, thus enabling infinite rehabilitation patterns. This technology was conceived by Polibrixia and has been patented.
Lepre is designed to be the main instrument of the patient's recovery. The UX of the software is therefore extremely important to ensure its initial adoption and continued use.
The interface allows therapists to manage each patient's personal rehabilitation plan, customising sessions according to their progress and current state of health.
The Lepre branding was developed during the product development phase. As the device concept became more clear, we were able to define certain brand guidelines, and began working on a simple logo. The logo needed to represent the device but remain relevant and applicable after the company had grown and increased its product range.
We chose green as the primary color, which is traditionally used for perceptual reasons in the healthcare and medical industry. To create harmony with the product we decided to round the edges of the lettering, creating softer lines that mimic the shape of the device from a lateral perspective.
Discover more at Polibrixia Bioeng website.