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One of the first Russian Design research projectst.
Experience Design & Development
Universal Surgical Complex for
Different Types of Invasive Operations
Case sudy of Russian Design Research
1 ©2008 LUMIKNOWS. Promoting World Class Design Research. September 2008. Proprietary & Confidential.
Name of Research Project
Universal Surgical Complex for Conducting Different Types of Invasive Operations and Endoscopy
Name of Lead Researcher
Optimed, Efa - at the time of the project (2004), the largest in Russia makers of invasive surgery
equipment who decided to join their efforts to design a universal surgical complex.
Research Aims and context:
There are different types of invasive operations and endoscopy. It depends on the particular target
organ, and also varies between different hospitals and even within surgical crews. Each type has its own
peculiarities in the ways the surgery is performed, but also in the methods and consecution of actions
surgeons are used to following.
The key research aim was to develop a universal multifunctional complex allowing conducting different
types of invasive operations and endoscopy in any Russian hospital by any surgical crew. Another
challenge of the project was that the complex, at the time consisting of several modules, should have
been compatible with modules being produced by various certified makers of medical equipment – both
Russian and foreign.
Research activities and methods:
The project was divided into three phases: design research resulted into design brief, development
phase and creating a pre-production model.
The focus of the research was on the analysis of different types of surgical processes and the
surgeon’s workplace. The phase has become a combination of the two approaches: a four-week video
ethnographic observation in several St.-Petersburg hospitals (p.1) with a following processes-orientated
value analysis (p.2). At the core, a holistic approach to the complex under development lied: the complex
was approached as a part of the larger system – an environment and, at the same time, as a container
for smaller systems (control interfaces, communications between devices etc.). Such methodology
allowed identifying problem issues concerning the structure of the complex, antagonistic relationships
between the complex parts and even rules for the further evolution of similar sophisticated medical
The research phase has resulted into two design concepts. The first one was realized and is now serially
produced in two modifications: by Optimed for hospitals and by Efa for air-mobile hospitals deployed by
the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations.
The complex designed has allowed to solve the following critical for such operations issues: optimize the
surgeon’s workplace which resulted in the preventing possible errors; make the process of preparing the
complex to work and control during the surgery much easier; reduce the duration of the surgery which,
in turn, decreases negative impact on patient of being under a long anesthesia; reduce the number of
medical staff who were in charge of adjusting the complex during the operation (usually, one-two people)
which reduces the costs of operations and medical treatment as a whole.
The other concept required serious modification of the surgical environment and, thus, changing of an
established chain of suppliers including special medical furniture makers. Due to significant investment
needed to accomplish the project in this way, the concept was not realized. In the meantime, some of the
principles in the evolution of such complexes formulated during the project have proved its correctness
in the da Vinci Surgical System.
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The main findings of the observation phase resulted in identifying
the four problem areas: (1) Supporting elements,
(2) Connections, (3) Apparatus, (4) Tools:
A. Supporting elements (post, rests,
1. Supporting elements occupy a considerable
amount of space near surgical table, but to
move them away is impossible since, in this
• connections with devices are getting longer;
• reading of information from monitors is
2. Supporting elements accumulate dust,
especially its horisontal surfaces which is a
problem for a surgical environment;
3. To adjust the surgical table during the
operation an additional person is needed
B. Connections (wires, hoses, light pipe)
1. A large length of connections (from 2 to
2,8m) results in considerable losses of
2. Connections are a problem since on its
way they sag, touch the floor, become
unsterilized, are pressed down by the
personnel which, all in all, may cause an
emergency situation (image 2);
3. Connections create a 'dead zone' near
surgical table not allowing an access to
patient from the complex's side;
4. Connections block reading information and
2 3 5. Connections require considerable amount of
time to connect up and disconnect before,
during and after the operation (image 3).
C. Apparatus (monitor, devices)
1. To adjust devices during the operation, an
additional person is needed (image 4);
2. Due to the lack of space between surgical
table and devices, access to adjusting
devices is difficult;
3. It is almost impossible to read information
from the modules locating in the lower part
of the complex;
4. Lack of flexibility in the monitor location
results in inconvenience of following
critical information from monitor during the
operation (image 5).
1. Since TV camera and its wire are not
sterilized, they require a sterile case with a
lenght of 1 m which makes connecting up
of laporoscope and adjusting the camera's
sharpness difficult (image 6).
2. Light pipe is connecting up to laporoscope
under an inconvenient 90 degree angle
3 ©2008 LUMIKNOWS. Promoting World Class Design Research. September 2008. Proprietary & Confidential.
Processes-orientated value analysis:
I. Initial Situation
II. Analysis of operationa zone II. Analysis of Operational
9 7 1. Surgeon
10 4 2. Patient
3. Surgical Table
5 1 4. Tools
2 5. Connections
6 8 8. Control Panels
3 9. Supporting Elements
10. Additional Equipment
III. The Priority of Tasks
III. The Priority of Tasks
The main task of the complex
is to receive and trasmit full
informationato make a decision.
Rating in accordance with the
F1. The Operation Information
F2. The Tool of Performing the
F7 F6 F5 F4 F3 F2 F1
F3. The Devices Information
F4. Modules to Maintain the
F5. Connections to Transfer
Materials and Energy to Devices
F6. Supporting Elements
IV. Desirable Outcome
4 ©2008 LUMIKNOWS. Promoting World Class Design Research. September 2008. Proprietary & Confidential.
Research Outcomes in a Form of Comparative Analysis
of Problem Issues in All Three Modifications of the
Problem Issues Initial Sitution Realized Concept Advanced Concept
(1) (2) (3)
'Dead Zone' abs
of Observing 950
of Control Remote Control Remote Control
5 ©2008 LUMIKNOWS. Promoting World Class Design Research. September 2008. Proprietary & Confidential.
Serially Produced Complex since 2006
6 ©2008 LUMIKNOWS. Promoting World Class Design Research. September 2008. Proprietary & Confidential.
Lumiknows is a Russia based innovation
consumer experience consultancy with a
subsidiary in Asia.
With a focus on People, Research and
Innovation, our aim is to provide deep
insights into drivers, lifestyle and mindset
of gaining in sophistication Russian
7 ©2008 LUMIKNOWS. Promoting World Class Design Research. September 2008. Proprietary & Confidential.