Going deep into

MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme

Rethinking a medical monitoring device, for and with anaesthesiologists.

Some portuguese anesthesiologists were already trying to change the future of this medical branch. There were many ideas but not so many assurances. This is how we stepped into the Operating Room and started this major project.

& tools
Actions and Tools

– Kickoff framework
– Field and desk research
– Benchmark
– Analogies analysis
– Contextual interviews
– Field observations


– User testing
– Personas
– Co-creation workshop
– Moodboards
– Prototyping
– User testing


– Journey Map
– Clustering
– Personas
– Co-creation workshop
– Moodboards
– Prototyping

We weren’t trying to design a solution from scratch. Instead, we had to redesign a device that already existed but wasn’t being used. We had to bring it back to life. We had to revive it!

Being anesthesiologists for 2 months
Defining the problem & asking
a lot of questions

Presently few anesthesiologists make use of the devices that allow them to monitor neuromuscular blockade. There’s always a first assumption like this, which is a baseline problem. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. From then on we always had to question everything: are there enough devices available? Why aren’t the ones available used? How does this specific device integrate the flow of this broader process, the surgery? What is the most important anesthesiologist need? How can we design a device that meets his needs?

Laying inside the operation room
Study, listen, observe

To truly interpret such a specific context as the one of anaesthesiology, we had to study hard. After all, we needed to know as much as we could about this branch of medicine in order to be able to listen and understand the people we were going to interview.

After many hours spent studying and making sure the anaesthesia’s jargon was familiar to the whole team, we went out into the field. We interviewed different stakeholders, but mainly we talked with anaesthesiologists. We walked along OR’s halls and observed surgeries.

These different methods are part of a whole. It’s what enabled us to understand how important it is for the anaesthesiologist to be in control and how fundamental it was for this to be translated into the solution we were to design.

You are “designersanesthesiologist”?

Product & service design bootcamp

Usually, research results aren’t presented to the people we have been studying since the beginning. On this project, since we wanted to explore a solution that was truly useful for anesthesiologists, we had to have their input and a co-creation moment with them. This meant showing them what we had figured out about anesthesiologists on the field, to the anesthesiologists on the workshop. What was at first an apprehensive reaction, then turned to a positive attitude, when on the co-creation session, groups where drawing new solutions from the research important findings and presenting prototype solutions that directly reported to them.

Validating with the ones
who matter the most

Prototyping & validating

From the get go we had already a first prototype that we tested at the end of each the first rounds of interviews. It had the great advantage of cutting some steps testwise and it engaged the people we interviewed, by showing them that what we were doing wasn’t only conceptual but readily translated into something real.

After the co-creation session, some ideas were prototyped, but we still had to understand how they would function together. We made some changes and merged them into one single solution, while preparing for the next of validation.

We went back to the field, to different hospitals and tested the prototype solution we had. After 34 tests, it was possible to envision what it still demanded improvement but that required only small adjustments.
Most importantly, we confirmed the need to develop a solution that didn’t disrupt the environment it would exist in, but instead, seamlessly integrated the flow of its context.

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