Urine testing is the most common diagnostic test in the world—it’s performed around 2.8 billion times each year—and the drill is the same whether you’re in a field clinic in the Sudan or a state-of-the-art hospital in one of the richest countries in the world. That may be about to change. Clinical Design, a medical technology company based in Newton Abbot, UK, has developed an intuitive, closed system designed to improve the entire urine testing process, from sample collection to lab analysis. Its achievement has been recognized by the prestigious Red Dot Awards program, which applauded the design quality of the device.
Clinical Design founder and CEO Oliver Blackwell spent nine years working with senior clinicians to devise the Urine Testing System, which is described as hygienic, easy to use and accurate. It eliminates—and this is important—the risk of spillage as well as contamination and errors in analysis and transcription of results.
“I am delighted that the panel at Red Dot recognized the delivery of a complex product in such a simple form,” said Blackwell in a prepared statement. “Working closely alongside clinicians, we challenged the inefficiencies and methods people had come to accept—we scrutinized every aspect of urinalysis and asked a lot of questions. The Red Dot award proves to me that I asked the right questions and managed to appropriately translate the answers,” said Blackwell.
Most of the device parts are injection molded using eight different polymers, the company told PlasticsToday. It did not disclose the types of polymers but did share that material selection revolved around specific properties involving optical clarity, light absorption and reflectance, and manufacturability of the material into thin membranes for valves.
Tooling maker Astarcor and injection molding company Polymermedics were close collaborators, said Clinical Design, adding that they were tasked with, respectively, developing tooling for and molding extremely complex parts, several of which had a very tight tolerances. “Working with established and high-precision medical companies was essential in achieving the high technical performance at a low unit cost,” said Clinical Design.
Clinical Design invested approximately £1.5 million to develop an integrated assembly process, and all of the plastic parts were designed not only to work in clinical use but also to allow high-speed assembly.
Made in Great Britain, the Urine Testing System will be available to healthcare providers in the United Kingdom and Ireland starting this spring. Clinical Design is currently raising capital through private and institutional investors to expand into international markets.