WORK / Healthcare Investing in innovative wearable technology to deliver next generation medical devices

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Driving sustainable growth in new product areas

At Enterprise Ireland’s Med-in-Ireland 2019 event, Design Partners announced a €500,000 investment in people and technology focused on the design, development and manufacture of wearable devices and embedded wearable technologies. The realization of a wearable devices requires a cross functional development team with expertise in not only fabric, soft materials and adhesives, but also in flexible circuits, sensors and connectivity. Medical Device and Healthcare sectors are primary growth targets for Design Partners, with a strong focus also on Consumer and Professional sectors.

Increasingly, our MedTech client companies are looking to move the engagement and interactions with patients outside of the clinical environment and into the home.

Eugene Canavan, Design Partners Healthcare Design Director

Iterative prototyping and the ability to dynamically test are key development processes, in the realization of wearable technology. Investments in equipment such as ultrasonic welding, tape and edge bonding, laser cutting and sewing machines bring essential tools in-house. The addition of highly trained individuals and training of existing staff in the areas of wearable technology, materials and embedded electronics are key to fulfilling existing project briefs and attracting new projects from domestic and international clients. Additional design and engineering positions are expected in early 2020.

Wearable technology smart knee brace designed by Design Partners Enterprise Ireland Minister Pat Breen

A demonstration of a Smart Knee Brace designed by Design Partners in collaboration with Tyndall. Pictured; Deirdre Glenn – Director, Lifesciences & Food Commercialisation, Enterprise Ireland, Pat Breen – Minister for Trade, Employment, Business and Data Protection, Eugene Canavan – Medical Design Director, Design Partners, Raymond Crosbie – Business Development Director, Design Partners, Sara Urasini – Wearables Designer, Design Partners

Gartner, Inc. forecasts that worldwide shipments of wearable devices will reach $225 million in 2019, an increase of 25.8 percent from 2018. End-user spending on wearable devices is forecast to reach $42 billion in 2019. While a large percentage of those devices will be smart watches, growth in other areas such as ear-worn hearables and on-body devices show larger growth projections.

Design Partners believe in creating user centric wearables, that are empathetic to the lifestyle of the wearer and de-risked from a usability perspective

Eugene Canavan, Design Partners Healthcare Design Director

Connected wearable devices provide new opportunities for real-time data collection, patient monitoring and treatment administration. Wearables are a significant opportunity to reduce the burden on hospitals and promote better patient outcomes. Brian Stephens, Design Partners CEO said “We are living in a world which is being fundamentally transformed by disruptive technology. Advances in sensor technology, connectivity and material science are enabling wearables to really impact how we live and work. The ability to translate these technology solutions in to real and meaningful products that intersect into the lives of patients, is something that is valued by our clients. Our investment in wearable technology combined with our expertise in Healthcare and Consumer product design, uniquely places us to deliver in this space”


About Design Partners

Design Partners is an award-winning design & innovation company with a diverse, interdisciplinary team of experts and an unparalleled R&D facility, delivering ground-breaking design and engineering services, underpinned by an integrated human factors engineering (HFE) process. Design Partners’ expertise is in designing products and experiences that empower workflow engagement and task immersion. From innovative surgical devices, to patient engagement, to connected health devices, Design Partners translate complex interactions between people and technology into meaningful product experiences. Design Partners are ISO13485 certified.

Design Partners work with Enterprise Ireland, the Irish State agency that partners with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate, and win export sales in global markets.


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