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BK Ultrasound

How many of us can claim that getting our blood drawn is easy? Of an estimated 300 - 500 million IV placements per year in the U.S., one-third of the attempts in adults, and one-half in pediatrics, result in failure. BK Ultrasound, a leader in advanced imaging technologies partnered with the design and innovation firm Bresslergroup in order to reverse these painful stats.

Their technology gives healthcare professionals a real-time view of tissue layers over an inch beneath the skin. Unlike other products that need to be tethered, the technology allows for true portability. But improved technology on its own isn’t enough to convince busy healthcare providers with established routines to embrace a new and unfamiliar tool.

Bresslergroup worked to ensure that the final product design would be adopted. They conducted three rounds of user research. Focus groups with experienced nurses and EMTs in three different hospital settings yielded feedback on data management, product experience, and ease of use. They also tested different ways to integrate the device into these individuals’ workflow. The team created storyboards to evaluate different scenarios. Insights drove early concept development for both interaction and industrial design. Two low-fidelity prototypes were tested, with one clear winner. Then two higher-fidelity, interactive prototypes were subjected to qualitative testing with ten participants revealing the best industrial design configurations.

The final design for the “Sonic Window” has been an immediate success.


  • It has increased the success rate of IV placements in difficult patients by 50 – 80% resulting in a savings of $12.50 per IV start.
  • Already its “first-stick success” is improving patient satisfaction, reducing risk of complications, and offering time and cost savings for hospital systems.

Marrying technology with consumer insights, Bresslergroup ensured that the design for Sonic Window would increase product adoption and provide better patient outcomes.


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