Finnish health technology company Merivaara launched their Q-Flow surgical light in 2017. It won the internationally acclaimed Red Dot product design award, and it was met with praise for its design to decrease the risk of infections and for its user interface, which is intuitive and easy to use.
An important component of the interface is the laser. Its beam helps surgeons to focus the light accurately on a particular spot. The middle point indicated by laser acts as a pointer for an integrated camera, which closely displays even the smallest veins and tissues.
“The benefit of using a laser is that its beam doesn’t mix with the illuminating light. Even though the light shines 160 times brighter than an ordinary light fixture, the laser’s projection is still highly visible”, says project manager Paul Bärlund.
Laser beam intensity is crucial
The laser projects symbols of a sun, plus, and minus onto the work area. These symbols help the operator to adjust brightness and area of light without moving their eyes off the primary focus. The surgeon is not blinded by the bright light and thus can keep working uninterrupted.
“This feature makes the light user-friendly and increases work performance during an operation. We have had positive feedback from surgeons about the feature, because it truly helps them perform their task more efficiently”, Bärlund states.
No other manufacturer has this kind of user interface on their surgical light fixtures. Merivaara has patented the feature.
“This feature was only possible with a laser, because no other light source can produce a beam intense enough to project patterns in such a bright light.”
Quality light demands a quality laser
Merivaara chose Keypoint as their supplier for their trust in Finnish quality. Health-care equipment is subject to strict quality standards, and outside Europe the light had to be registered specifically for each market.
“At first, we tried Chinese lasers, but the quality was poor. Out of ten lasers, no two were the same; we could not have passed quality grading or regulatory approval with them.”
Straightforward co-operation was beneficial during product development. Merivaara had no prior experience using lasers, so effortless and quick communication was crucial.
“I’ve had very little contact with Keypoint since going from development to production. To me, it means we had trouble-free and reliable co-operation. We have received exactly what we have ordered”, Bärlund acknowledges.