Design project: the operating room of the future

This project was my graduation project at Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft and took place on behalf of the department for Medical Technology (MTKF) at the UMC Utrecht. Because the department is considering patent applications, the designed results cannot be displayed, but a description of the process is provided below.


UMC Utrecht Medical Center

The assignment was to analyze potential and current use of a integrated operating room used in the UMC Utrecht and design new products to make use more ergonomic and efficient. The integrated operating room was a Karl Storz OR 1 system, which is used for minimally invasive surgical procedures. The system aims to create the ideal working environment to perform these procedures.


In this project the functionality of integrated operating room system was categorized, use of the functionality was observed and requirements were analyzed through questionnaires with operating room staff. In an ideal product functionality, use and requirements are fully overlapping, so these three research phases yielded a valuable insight into potential use and  current use. Finally the usability of the system was analyzed through a heuristic analysis, and the results of the research phases were placed within an innovation adoption context to identify design opportunities relevant the the UMC Utrecht, and recommendations for all parties involved (manufacturers, suppliers, hospital management and hospital staff).

current "operating room of the future"

current "operating room of the future"


The recommendations that followed from the design phase were translated into product ideas. From the ideas several were selected to create a vision on the future operating room of the future. From this vision the most feasible idea was chosen and detailed through a series of card board mock ups. Card board mock ups allowed for quick and easy testing. The final concept was modeled in Solidworks. Based upon this model a prototype was constructed to allow a final user test to prove the newly designed interaction concept.

I sincerely enjoyed working at the UMC Utrecht and would like to thank everyone again who participated in my project.

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