Modulith SLK Inline
“The overall concept, the established material quality, the new mobility, the incredible user-friendliness [...] convinced not only me but also our entire medical staff.”
Storz Medical’s Modulith SLK Inline is an advanced Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy device (ESWL) used by hospitals and clinics to treat patients suffering from kidney and gallstones. For a machine that was once immense and immovable, the Modulith’s overall esthetic is now modern and light.
Storz Medical is a Swiss company that specializes in shock wave technology devices and has pioneered the development of highly complex ESWL machines. In 2011, Storz asked frog to help design a unique, high-end ESWL product that would be more mobile and flexible than the big, bulky versions first introduced with the technology in the 1980s.
“Our mandate was to reinterpret the architectural structure of the device, to give form to the technical and mechanical design,” says Ralph Bremenkamp, creative director at frog’s Munich studio.
Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that form inside the kidneys, and can be extremely painful. Invasive surgery was once the only option for acute cases until ESWL technology – which zaps the stones with ultrasonic waves - became available as an outpatient procedure. frog had worked with Storz before on a stationary ESWL, but now designers focused on a machine that was smaller and easier to handle by doctors, nurses and technicians and that also provided optimal patient comfort. Modulith features a main unit with a patient bed and a movable therapy head, along with smaller mobile units with touch screens where operators locate the stones on an x-ray machine and, with a simple touch, aim-and-shoot an ultrasonic wave to pulverize them.
A consistent design language positions the Modulith as an accessible product that can fit into a variety of contemporary hospital environments. “The Modulith is movable, lightweight, dynamic and fun to use, and we wanted to convey that visually,” Bremenkamp explains. Ascending sight lines telegraph sleekness while smooth moving, customized wheels – rather than cheaper off the shelf models - speak to speed and mobility.
With its state of the art technology and easy to manufacture and assemble parts, the built-to-order Modulith is designed to please medical personnel as well as appealing to budget-conscious hospital procurement departments seeking the best next-generation devices.
Due to product development deadlines, the design process needed to be accomplished in just a few weeks. frog designers initiated a streamlined design track with Storz engineers that led to an intense visual dialog that helped complete the project in record time. “We can be very pragmatic when solving client problems, and jumping in with a dynamic program that produces great results,” Bremenkamp notes. The design was based in part on frog’s deep experience in the sector, and a gut feel for what Storz wanted for its new product.
Market response has been strong for the groundbreaking and award-winning Modulith SLK Inline, another example of frog’s dedication to innovative healthcare design that addresses client and patient needs with great design.