Design Concepts for New CPAP Systems for Infants in Intensive Care

2014 Conceptual Product Solutions

10-week term project with a Swedish Med-Tech company and Umeå University Hospital


The starting point was the design challenge of understanding the needs, wishes and restrictions when designing critical care solutions for preterm infants undergoing CPAP treatment (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). CPAP is a treatment that uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open and can be used to treat preterm infants whose lungs have not fully developed. The aim of this design study was to investigate and explore the best configurations of a new CPAP system combining more advanced features and technology from ventilators with the simpler CPAP functionality. The workflow at neonatal intensive care units (NICU) were studied in order to understand how and when in the "chain of care", the monitor, the breathing support and the combination of the two would be used, taking into consideration functionality, clinical demands, the needs of the multiple stakeholders and the user experience for each of these.Work method
The project started with an introduction from the collaborating company to a number of the present technologies and principles for CPAP ventilation. In the weeks that followed the students had the possibility to visit the NICU ward at the local University hospital on several occasions and got valuable insights to present procedures and the problems, needs and wishes known to the professional caregivers and medical experts. The project also included a number of co-creation sessions at UID with both the sponsoring company and representatives from the hospital.


The four final concept results all addressed the CPAP ventilation with a wide range of details and specific features.

External project tutors:

Anna Carell, Industrial Designer, Veryday.
Madlene Lindström, Interaction Designer, Veryday.

Course responsible and internal tutor:

Thomas Degn, Programme Director for the APD programme.