Hospital electronics

Pekka Wikström was one of the pioneers in the design of hospital electronics equipment in the early 1970s. For twenty years he worked in the product development team of Kone Oy’s instrument factory for hospital equipment. Wikström described the role of the designer as a member of the product development team as follows:

“In the design of hospital equipment, the most important tasks of the designer are to be involved in the structural design from the beginning, as well as in the production engineering and material choices. Ergonomics, or correct sizing in relation to people, is important, as is aesthetic design. The designer will also be responsible for product graphics, product paperwork, instructions for use and maintenance, packaging design and exhibition design worldwide.”

The design of hospital equipment presented challenges for the designer. Wikström considered the sector to be one of the largest and most difficult in Finland, as it was developing very rapidly. The development of patient monitoring equipment was an example of this:

“Initially the patient monitoring equipment consisted of seven separate machines, each sending its own pulse tracks to the patient. Within five years, the whole installation had a new format. During the design and product development work, Kone Oy’s instrument factory equipment was developed so that it is now in the same enclosure. The monitor’s display screen allows the doctor to make a diagnosis more quickly. This design work requires an outwardly clear design plan for the inside of the device, which with its ducts and bends is like a human gut.”