219 Design has a long track record building cutting-edge GUIs for medical devices. When Norlase came to us with a vision for a revolutionary new laser photocoagulator, we knew we could knock it out of the park. 219 Design was able to provide the cross-industry engineering knowledge and interdisciplinary expertise they needed to achieve their goal to create a breakthrough device that would disrupt the market.
Norlase, an emerging global ophthalmic medical device company based in Denmark, develops laser solutions for the treatment of diseases. Today, their focus is on retina and glaucoma diseases, but the opportunities to transform medical laser systems are significant. Their newest product - the LEAF Green Laser Photocoagulator - reimagines laser photocoagulation through the eyes of ophthalmologists and patients.
“Norlase is my 3rd company to utilize the services of 219 Design. Acting as an extension of our own team, they helped us incorporate new technology, design the user experience, and build the graphical user interface for our medical device. I consider them an integral part of our development team by providing talent that is complementary to our own engineering resources. ”Greg Fava, VP / General Manager of Medical, Norlase ApS
In 2017, Norlase added 219 Design to its team of worldwide industry experts in ophthalmology, laser technology, medical device development, and customer care as the lead on designing and building a graphical user interface (GUI) for Norlase’s LEAF device. Norlase wanted a tablet-based, touchscreen-only GUI for the LEAF Green Laser Photocoagulator. They also wanted the GUI to be wireless and voice controlled. These features and advanced technology would transform the user experience. The LEAF is the first device of its kind to include a beautifully intuitive layout, wireless communication, and voice control.
The first goal was to develop a proof-of-concept prototype to raise the additional funding needed to take their final product to market. Our in-house team of UI/UX designers and software engineers began by designing and developing multiple prototypes for evaluation and testing. For us, this process always starts with the end users – both doctors and patients.
We began by visiting with and interviewing opthamologists to understand their needs and observing how they used their existing devices during surgery. By understanding the limitations and witnessing the doctor-patient interactions, we were able to quickly discover a number of possible improvements. This, as well as competitive benchmarking, helped us to rapidly build and iterate on designs – with the opthamologists as an integral part of our iterative process.
Using the initial GUI prototype, Norlase secured the necessary funding to take this product to market. 219 Design then built out all of the additional GUI features required for a full-fledged product, including continued iteration of the design itself. The final product was an FDA- and CE-approved best-in-class medical device that improves practice efficiency, patient care and physician convenience while providing a product that is cost efficient and maintains superior performance. 219 Design continues to support Norlase as they scale up manufacturing and sales.
GUI Prototype Evolution
The LEAF is the only photocoagulator on the market with a user interface that is portable, wireless, and voice controlled. 219 developed the GUI for an Android tablet, using Qt, C++, and Java.
“When Norlase contacted us to design and develop a GUI for their new device I was immediately excited. While it’s a challenging and daunting task, it’s also an opportunity to explore a new space, truly learn the needs of end-users, and build something that people will simply love to use.”Dan Santos, Ph.D. Co-Founder of 219 Design
Due to Norlase’s and 219’s dedication to quality and attention to detail, Norlase was able to recently earn FDA and CE approvals relatively quickly, while simultaneously incorporating new technological advancements into their medical device design. They officially launched the LEAF Green Laser Photocoagulator at the American Association of Ophthalmologists Annual Meeting (AAO 2019) on October 12th! What’s next?! Norlase and 219 Design will continue to work together to develop innovative and disruptive laser solutions with cutting edge technology.