Snowden-Pencer® Take-Apart Laparoscopic Instrument
Because Farm played a key role in developing Cardinal Health’s Diamond-Line® Instruments, CareFusion, a Cardinal Health spin-off, chose to collaborate with Farm on a new line of reusable, take-apart laparoscopic tools that support safe cleaning and sterilization protocols for reusable medical devices.
Farm worked closely with Cardinal Health to establish and validate user requirements for the new tools, beginning the project with an international, ethnographic user research program. The resulting data helped Farm design innovative mechanisms for intuitive articulation and verifiable reassembly, and helped the team conduct usability validation testing to ANSI/AAMI ST79:2006 and AORN 2007, standards which ensure that device manufacturers make thoroughly cleanable devices and include instructions for sterilization and handling.
Working from the brand identity and ergonomics of the Diamond-Line®, Farm generated several concepts with varying component configurations (hyper-extending thumb bow, breech load, side load, inner pawl, rear lifter) that address the requirements for easy cleaning and sterilization. To prevent accidental part disconnection, Farm developed intuitive tactile and audible snap-in-place parts and markings to help ensure proper assembly. Farm maintained the original multi-dexterous handle and integrated ratchet to give physicians comfortable and intuitive control during surgical procedures. The patented ring-handle design accommodates both precision and palm-style grips while minimizing hand fatigue.
The final design is based on user testing of working prototypes, and its features include three take-apart components that are easy to clean, sterilize, and inspect, creating a more cost-effective alternative to traditional disposable instruments.