Medical device design

Vicair is a market leader in anti-decubitus pillows and mattresses, to prevent pressure wounds in bedded patients and wheelchair users. Ergo therapists assist in the process to optimize wheelchair settings and cushion selection. For decades pressure mats have been the most important tool for their diagnosis. But friction also has a substantial role in causing these types of injuries, however no tool for such a measurement existed.


Vicair, Netherlands


Research, Design strategy, Concept development, Prototyping, DFMA engineering, Industrialization, Packaging development

UN Goal


Scalable product development

Vicair had already collaborated with research institutions and universities to measure shear force between the patients and a sitting surface. When ManGo Product Design was contacted, the request of Vicair was to be develop a portable tool for ergo therapist to measure seating surface friction. The starting point was a large chair that could be used for the measurements, which of course is not ideal for wheelchair users.

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Prototype validations

As a first step in the development process a crude proof of concept prototype was made. Used to validate if it was possible to execute such a precise measurement in a small device. Once we were able to validate this, it was time to create fully working prototypes. These were then sent to therapists all over the world for validations. Most therapists were amazed at the gained insights for their patient’s but also provided valuable input for improvements. These were integrated into the design before we arranged the manufacturing. All sub-assemblies are made by ManGo partners in the Netherlands and the final assembly takes place at Vicair.

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Graphic User Interface

For the iShear project ManGo was responsible for the industrial design, DFMA, mechanical engineering and the Graphic User Interface (GUI) of the application. The app gives therapists and patients real time insight in how much friction occurs and in which directions. This enables therapist to adjust or change pillows on the spot or advise a custom-made solution to enable improved comfort and prevent “pressure” wounds.

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