Glaucoma is a progressive, incurable disease and a leading cause of blindness today.  Everyone – from babies to senior citizens – is at risk. If the disease is recognized in its early stages, however, it can be arrested. So far, the only available treatment is to lower a patient’s intra-ocular pressure (IOP), which makes IOP measurement vital to early detection.

The medical company Icare has long offered a superior method of rapidly screening mass populations for glaucoma. Its rebound technology and specialized tonometer instruments render the touch of a light probe so gentle that anesthesia is unnecessary and patients barely notice the procedure. Icare’s TA01 device was an important breakthrough in working with non-compliant patients, and throughout more than two decades of successful use it has produced tens of thousands of satisfied users in over 50 countries. Recently, a significantly improved successor to the TA01 required some refinement in order to match the ever-increasing demands of today’s medical professionals for legibility and usability.

The Veryday design team was challenged with finely balancing and harmonizing advanced magnetic rebound technology with the very demanding requirements of specialized eye doctors, GPs, opticians and vets.

Critical to Icare’s technology is the relative position between the patient’s cornea and the device – hence, much design effort was aimed at integrating an intuitive inclination and distance indication system for clear guidance by healthcare professionals.

Madlene Lindström, Veryday Lead Interaction Designer

To fully understand various users needs, we applied our design research methods (link to People Insight) and tested our ideas on different prototypes and mockups. In user studies, our design team focused on the relative physical positions a doctor takes in relation to a patient. As a function of needing to simultaneously view the patient’s cornea to judge its distance from the eye probe as well as the inclination of the device, display position was critical in supporting a smooth work procedure. Various user tests also mapped the practitioner’s movements relative to the patient’s and resulted in a versatile circular cross-section handle that allows for both standing and sitting work positions and comfortable 90o rotation around a patient. All key functions and contextual visual support, such as viewing results on a screen, needed to be perfectly aligned in the practitioner’s peripheral field of vision during IOP measurement.

Building on Icare’s brand identity, strong emphasis was placed on perceived value, precision and robustness generated by distinct subcomponent interfaces, sophisticated treatment of metal details, integrated light guides and a legible, clear, high-contrast UI. The result is a considerable improvement on Icare’s current market-leading tonometer range and a significant upgrade compared to competitors in the same market segment.

Some of the Icare brand identity values that we wanted to weave into our work and translate into the expression of the device itself were characteristics that signify the eye – clarity, distinctness and precision.

Marcus Heneen, Veryday Project Manager