Product Design inspired by students own hospital experience.

Product Design is one of the courses within The School of Architecture and Design at Brighton: here final year student Pete Barr talks about his project that was inspired by his own hospital visit.

‘80% of hospital patients have a cannula fitted. However, veins can be hard to locate, and often several attempts to insert a cannula are required. As all cannulas must be disposed of after use or attempted use, this results in a lot of unnecessary wasted equipment.

VASO addresses this waste with localised heat. It’s reusable sticky-backed heater patches are ‘stamped’ onto the patients body, warming the area causing the veins to dilate making them easier to cannulate successfully the first time. The device can be cleaned in an autoclave which sterilises it and ‘re-set’s’ the heater patch chemicals creating a cycle of zero waste.

I came up with the idea after an incident in hospital. A few weeks after having surgery on his finger he returned to hospital to have his bandage removed. I was shocked when the nurse unwrapped a brand new pair of scissors, cut the bandage and then threw the scissors away. This started my interest in using his university course to reduce medical equipment waste.’

Pete’s project was featured as a news item on BBC South East and on Brighton University Blog’s-in-the-right-vein.aspx