A Better Scanner
According to the American Cancer Society, only two-thirds of women 40 and older report having had a mammogram in the last two years. Fear and discomfort are some of the primary reasons women give for avoiding them, and it’s no wonder— mammograms have a reputation for being a cold, uncomfort- able and often painful experience. The Siemens’ Acuson S2000 ABVS (Automated Breast Volume Scanner), is an ultrasound system for early detection of breast cancer that supplements conventional mammograms and provides full 3D views of a breast. In designing it, frog sought to improve the patient experience, to help streamline workflow for doctors, and to provide top class diagnostic information.
The design of the Siemens Acuson S2000 scanner sets a new standard for ultrasound breast care.
A conventional mammogram often doesn’t allow a proper diagnosis of possible cancers in patients, especially if the tissue is too dense, or if the cancer is positioned in areas not easily reachable. With the ABVS, the doctor can inspect the patient’s breast using a moving ultrasound scanner pod, which easily reaches all areas of the organ, offering a precise tridimensional view of the tissue. Also, handheld ultrasound exams usually take up to 30 minutes. Doctors using the Acuson S2000 ABVS can perform the test in less than 15. The device also delivers diagnostic information lacking in conventional ultrasound and X-ray imaging.
frog's team of designers also considered the ergonomic design. They evaluated several mock-ups to find the ideal layout for the movement of the pod. The final product allows the experience to be as comfortable, efficient, and effective as possible for both patient and doctor.
Doctors can now improve workflow because the the scanning head has been redesigned to make it easier to lift and position (the machine itself is quite large and heavy). The new scanning head also gives the doctor the most unobstructed view of the patient’s body. Refinement of
positioning of the controls makes it easier for the doctor to operate while focused on the patient.
Several things were done to improve the patient’s physical and emotional comfort. We added a preview screen above the scanning unit so patient and doctor can maintain eye contact throughout the exam. It also lets the patient see the scan in progress. Lastly, the scanner's positioning arm is flexible enough so that once a patient is settled, she doesn't have to move again until the exam is finished. The overall aesthetic stays away from an overly technical look and feel, instead emphasizing soft and seamless forms and giving the entire experience a friendlier feel.