Dreaming of a Good night’s sleep
Resmed - Pixi Mask
Dreaming big on a small scale
Sleep apnoea is a medical condition that involves breathing difficulties when children or adults are asleep. This condition is very rare in children aged 4-7years and affects their learning, behaviour and overall health. This was solved by using re-purposed adult masks to fit children. The children and their families suffered in silence. At that time, there were almost no products on the market addressing the problem. The existing solutions were uncomfortable, scary for the children, and distressing for the parents. It was clear, the existing adult mask had a big impact on the wellbeing of children and their families and IDE wanted to help out.
Resmed was passionate about solving this problem to help the affecting children and their families. ResMed saw necessity and was keen to address this issue. With a possible design in mind, Resmed approached IDE Group to help bring their project to life.
Entering uncharted waters
IDE’s goal was to make a non-obtrusive paediatric mask to help kids with sleep apnoea, sleep better without feeling distressed and afraid. The mask had to be comfortable, stable, aesthetically pleasing with minimum coverage. We were dealing with a lot of unknowns - we understood the treatment and environment where the mask was to be used. We worked with passionate Resmed staff that helped us understand the underlying emotions and drivers the mask needed to address, not just the ergonomics etc. One of the most important factor driving the design of the mask was to satisfying the clinicians and nurses needs in dealing with sick and distressed children.
The team started from scratch, studying face anatomy and collecting ergonomic data. Our aim was to give the users a product with minimal coverage, maximum comfort, stability and sealing. The team embarked on a journey, while embracing complexity and dreaming about the difference this mask would to the kids and their families.
Searching for the Cinderella fit
In-field testing showed us that existing point of care tests took a “bits in a box” approach, which allowed for plenty of usability errors. Many “false negatives” meant those affected could not get the lifesaving treatment readily available. This was the opportunity. Remove the usability issues and give people access to the accuracy of the tests optimised in the labs.
There was not much to start with, so we invested and worked to bring further investment, all the while developing and testing the product with the people that mattered. Working in all areas on its journey from discovery through to manufacturing and regulatory approval.
To be viable we had to make an impact in the market which needed it most, which had huge issue, the cost. Clever design was not going to be enough to keep the costs of goods viable, so we developed a new production process and supply chain, to deliver the product to market.
Atomo Diagnostics is now a business with a presence in Australia, Europe and Africa. Selling products not only in the developing world, but also the developed world, through a growing portfolio of products. It is holding its own against the major players and growing. Attracting international recognition and investment, from those who see the impact this unique approach to diagnostics can make.