Designing An All-In-One OCT Platform

Cylite is a technology development company, creating the next generation of imaging and metrology systems for ophthalmic and related markets. Cylite has developed a revolutionary ocular imaging and measurement technique that overcomes issues of motion artefacts or data error resulting from patient eye movement during OCT imaging. Their revolutionary HP-OCT (Hyperparallel Optical Coherence Tomography) instrument integrates their patented imaging technique into a market leading OCT device delivering industry leading scan rates, fully automatic operation, and high resolution data capture.

Aimed for use in a variety of clinical settings, including both research laboratories and patient-serving clinics, the HP-OCT has been designed to integrate a high technology core within an ergonomic, user friendly exterior.

The design ensures both patient and clinician comfort during use, whilst also offering an attractive, modern design language to provide a point of difference over large, established competitors.

The HP-OCT device offers a unique proposition to clinicians with its ability to replace four different instruments within one versatile instrument. The fully automated volumetric acquisition reduces patient chair time and improves the reliability of the results, ensuring the required information is acquired first time. Accurate measurement of both anterior and posterior corneal surfaces eliminates guesswork during analysis and diagnosis.

The HP-OCT device also offers researchers unparalleled capabilities, extending their abilities for accurate and repeatable quantitative measurements even during large scale studies.

DESIGN ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Can measure over 1,000 simultaneous A-scans over a 7.5 mm range
  • Accurate anterior and posterior corneal topography
  • High data capture rates protects against anomalies through sample movement
  • High resolution corneal imaging
  • Accurate Axial Length Measurement

COMMERCIAL IMPACT

  • Versatile product platform for launch of Cylite into OCT market
  • Sales opportunities in both clinical and research environments
  • Effectively replaces four different instruments with one versatile system
  • Offers a range of capabilities for innovative clinical research

COBALT TASKS

  • User insights and design strategy
  • Industrial Design
  • Product Engineering
  • Prototyping
  • Tooling Management
  • CG Visualisation
  • Jack Magree
  • Kynan Taylor
  • Graeme Marshall
  • Marcus Krigsman
  • Nat Hunt
  • Mark Matthews Frederick
  • Andrew Fanning
  • Adam Dean Smith

"Cobalt's brilliant design makes our world-first technology shine on the world stage."

-Grant Frisken, Cylite Founder and CTO

User requirements and the human interaction with the device was a large focus for Cobalt during the initial project stages. Cobalt’s development team worked closely with Cylite to characterise the typical product usage and to develop a deep understanding of both the user’s (patient) and operator’s (clinician) needs. As with any medical product, patient safety and comfort are paramount to ensuring a successful outcome. While ocular imaging is a non-invasive procedure, using an OCT does require close patient interaction, with the patient required to place their head in the device during the procedure. Design of these facial interaction elements was a key focus during initial design work. The Cobalt team considered elements such as ergonomics and its impact on user comfort, the need for adjustability to ensure fit across a wide range of user demographics, design of the mechanical elements to ensure a stable, comfortable fit, and the integration of these elements with materials and form to create this critical feature of the overall product design.

Working in close collaboration with Cylite, Cobalt developed and refined the product configuration to ensure complete integration of the electro-mechanical systems providing powered motion of the device, along with complex optical elements, electronics components and the mechanical support structures.

The external optics assembly is located on the instrument head and required integration of a number of unique components all critical to the device function.

A main optical lens forms the centre of the optics assembly, around which a ring of LEDs are distributed to provide visual targets for the patient, along with illumination for the two integrated cameras used for automated alignment of the device. This area forms the main visual focus of the product, and integration with the head and chin rest elements, plus the surrounding enclosure panels was a key area of industrial design.

The HP-OCT device is categorised as a class 2 medical product, placing some strict requirements on several elements of the product design, including the mechanical integrity of the device enclosure, material selection, user interaction points and integration of failsafe or protection features to prevent accidental actions such as cord pull-out or pinch points. Design for manufacture and assembly (DFM/A) methodology was applied when developing the outer enclosure components to ensure part complexity was minimised and key functional requirements were met. The sensitive nature of the internal optics elements required an enclosure design that housed and protected these elements, whilst also isolating from vibration and mechanical shock.

Cobalt was engaged from initial concept development through to engineering of all outer enclosure parts and finally providing technical assistance to multiple off-shore manufacturing partners during tooling design, manufacture and off-tool sampling.

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