Keep the temperature: Product development of a patient warming system

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Bengtsson, Fabian
Tang, Shuyi
In this thesis, the product development of a medical product is done. The product is to solve the problem of low body temperature in patients. Current products lack active heating to rewarm patients while others cause burn injuries due to a high heating rate. The developed product should provide safe but efficient active heating. While also be comfortable for patients and paramedics to use. Lastly, it should also do it at a lower cost. The thesis began with a problem investigation and market analysis. Interviews with experts and literature studies were done to find and extract information about the problem. Analysis of the information brought the identification of two key markets. A requirement list was done by interpreting gathered statements and information. A function-means tree was also done, to identify relevant functions that were desired for the developed product. A top-down generation and screening of concepts according to function-means tree, were followed throughout the thesis. Through three loops an extensive exploration of the design space had been done and three concepts remained of the initial 15. After further evaluation, the final concept was chosen. As the final concept was chosen further detailing could be done, such as investigation of materials and heating method. To be able to determine the appropriate heating effect physical test were performed. The tests showed that the proposed materials for the layers worked as intended. However, calculations based on the tests revealed the lack of performance in terms of heating rate. But it still provided heating to the patient. An investigation of battery culminated in a decision to use laptop batteries. Cost estimation was done to evaluate the value of the product, it highlighted a costly layer which was subsequently removed. Finally, the final product had unique features to set it apart from competitor products. Such as passive and active warming in combination. While the let down of the product was its heating rate, often inferior to competitors. But unlike competitors, major body parts were easily accessible by a zip structure. In summary, this thesis developed a product with a sample heating rate to heat patients suffering from low body temperature. A combination of active and passive warming provided safe and reliable heating. The developed product does this while providing comfort for both patients and paramedics. The material cost of the product ensured that it would be able to be used without much thought.
low body temperature, active rewarming, pre-hospital, operation theater, burn injuries, safe, efficient, comfortable, low cost
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