The success of the HandiHaler for German drug company Boehringer Ingelheim marked a breakthrough for Kinneir Dufort. Best of Show winner in the 1996 Design Week Awards, the inhaler promised an easier life for asthma sufferers, combining function with ergonomics to give a small, easily pocketed product. It also put the Bristol industrial design group firmly into the medical products arena
The HandiHaler was a crossover from clinical to consumer application in equipment essential for everyday use. Now with a new respiratory device aimed primarily at sufferers from cystic fibrosis and lung disorders, Kinneir Dufort, with client Sunrise Medical, is moving into a wider market – towards sports users. Due to be launched next month, the RTSport is a device to improve lung function – useful to sports stars and opera singers as well as to people with a medical condition.
The concept started life in the medical field – a sister product for medical use was launched in Germany last spring. But, trials of the sports version – with rugby players from the British Lions and New Zealand All Blacks teams and with New Zealand Olympic swimmers – indicate continued treatment gives a positive benefit to athletes’ performance.
Described by consultancy head Ross Kinneir as ‘a gym for your lungs’, RTSport is a plastic-moulded device, batch produced by Kinneir Dufort for the launch.
It comprises a remote hand set with detachable mouthpiece. This sits in a moulded base which plugs into a computer and has infrared connection to the hand set. Special software helps to chart your performance.
Kinneir Dufort business development head Sean Devane stresses that no drugs are involved in the treatment. You simply blow into a mouthpiece for as long and hard as you can, charting your progress on-screen through a graph measuring time against pressure. The more you blow, the bigger the curve and the better your performance. That’s the theory.
Design: Kinneir Dufort
Client: Sunrise Medical/DeVilbiss