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Pico: The micro sized flagship

Re-imagining wound care


The world of wound care is often seen as an unglamorous, complex, and even ‘dark art’ within the clinical world. From small pressure ulcers (bed sores) that can last a few weeks through to complex vascular disease management or skin grafts that require specialist regimes, each wound is different and each patient often requires a customized treatment regime.

Traditionally, Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) devices are used in wound management for patients with severe chronic or complex surgical wounds that proved hard to heal. In simple terms, the devices consist of a dressing (custom-made by the nurse at the wound-site) a vacuum pump, a canister, and a hose. It’s this application of negative pressure that aids in structural healing and encourages the growth of new tissue, often with impressive results. However, typically large, they often leave patients tethered to a bed.


We pioneered the transition from tethered to free with PICO TM (from the mathematical term for very small), released across the globe. PICO TM is a break-through product that, from its very foundation, is different than other products on the market. Its innovative design manages exudate (fluid) in the dressing rather than in a canister and offers a compact system that truly untethers the patient via a simple user-centered device.

When developing the product, we and the manufacturer started with one question – how do you make this therapy simpler at every stage; from application, through wear, to disposal?

To answer the challenge the team had to shift its thinking – why always draw fluid away from the wound into a canister? People hate complex and ugly.

Instead, they used a significantly smaller vacuum that applied enough pressure to draw fluid into the intelligent dressing, where the magic occurs. Fluid evaporates into the air and any exudate is locked behind a one-way membrane. This allowed the design team to produce a truly pocket sized system that was much smaller and more portable than its competitors.

Due to the innovative manner in which it functioned, the new system enabled a simple dressing that could be applied to the wound in a couple of minutes, not 30 minutes as with traditional methods.

The simple form and interface immediately resonated with nurses and patients alike. A case study on PICO TM is being published alongside products from US technology and media giants and others in a Design & Emotion book published by Kaufmann, championing effective design excellence.

With PICO TM, it used the standards of simplicity, accessibility and usability to drive advancement in technology and user experience. The much lower price point (when compared to traditional negative pressure) means it is available to many more patients. By focusing on the core needs of users, this accessible device creates an emotional connection by reducing stigma and being accessible, understandable, discrete, and consumer driven, as well as affordable.

 The TEN x factor:  Designing a flagship product that has delivered its weight in gold – with global revenues and patient outcomes in equal measure

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