Gold IDEA: Ion endoluminal system
The Ion system, which won FDA clearance in February, is a robotic-assisted, catheter-based platform meant to enable minimally invasive biopsy deep within the lung. According to its maker Intuitive Surgical, the Ion system includes an ultrathin human-controlled robotic catheter that allows physicians to navigate into hard-to-reach airways. Shape-sensing technology measures the full shape of the catheter hundreds of times per second so that the Ion system’s operators have precise location and shape information throughout the entire navigation and biopsy process. The Flexision flexible needlebends with the catheter and is able to pass through tortuous airways so that the biopsy can take place.
Intuitive Surgical’s designers focused on ensuring that the Ion system would integrate with existing environments and workflows. Portability and a small footprint were important because the Ion system needed to fit into a standard bronchoscopy suite setup without requiring special accommodations.
“There is no better example today that blends high-fidelity human factors engineering with industrial design and UX design…This deserves high honors because every detail mattered,” said Bryce Rutter, founder and CEO of Metaphase Design Group and IDEA juror.
The Ion system not only won a gold award at IDEA, but also Best in Show.
The project shines from design playing a central and fundamental role in all aspects of the product experience. All touch points are highly considered for its technological advances and its environment of use. It is a beautiful product, and it is a device that was designed with both the doctor and the patient in mind at all times,” said IDEA 2019 jury chair Maaike Evers, co-founder of the design studio Mike & Maaike.