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Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP) had a landmark year in 2016, demonstrating global application of its holistic end-to end innovation approach, ‘Potential Realised’. Linking a combination of research, science, technology, engineering, manufacturing and design into a single integrated process, it developed many successful innovations for clients in FMCG and healthcare – collecting some prestigious industry awards along the way.

Through its office in Palo Alto, its presence in the US market grew significantly, with the likely changes in the healthcare landscape a major focus for clients. Furthermore, CDP’s Front End Innovation (FEI) capability matured with researchers regularly meeting consumers in locations including Brazil, Germany, USA, Sweden, Japan and Mexico. It also launched a new connected packaging/activity-logging platform, diialog™.

First Response Monitor
Measuring and monitoring vital signs of trauma patients remains a time-consuming, manual process for first response medics. It becomes much harder in a mass casualty situation when rapid triage, evacuation and safety are critical factors. CDP identified the need for a low-cost/oneuse device to bridge the gap between manual patient monitoring methods – which can be laborious and challenging in a disaster zone – and more expensive, less portable monitoring systems. The resulting First Response Monitor (FRM) is a lightweight, sterile, single-use, connected wearable device that attaches to a patient’s nose. It displays real-time vital signs patient data and connects to a smartphone or tablet, allowing medics to perform simultaneous multiple-patient triage.

Early in the project, CDP’s researchers and designers spent time with civilian and military medics to understand the conditions they worked in, tasks performed and the challenges presented. Rather than trying to improve existing devices, CDP reviewed what was actually needed: a fast way of assessing and monitoring key human biometrics (heart rate, breathing rate and SpO2). Focusing on measuring ‘breathing rate’, CDP soon identified that a patient’s nose region could provide all indicators necessary via low-cost sensors usually found in consumer products. A number of rapid prototypes centring on a nosewearable device followed.

Integrating device connectivity led to custom app development which enables medics to monitor several patients simultaneously and be notified instantly if their vital signs start to deteriorate. Since its launch, CDP has received sales enquiries from around the world and won a number of awards including two Red Dot: Concept Best of the Best awards and an Electra European Electronics Industry Award for Design Team of the Year. FRM was also included in the Nominet100 list of the 100 most inspiring examples of Tech for Good.

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