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Graduate wins Red Dot Award for world’s first closed urine testing system

A pioneering urine testing system developed by a University of Plymouth graduate has been recognised in the prestigious Red Dot Awards.

Clinical Design, founded by Oliver Blackwell, received a distinction for high design quality for its Urine Testing System™, which will be launched to market this spring.

Oliver, who graduated from the BA (Hons) 3D Design course in 2005, has won numerous awards for his work and applied a Human Centred Design approach to tackling the inefficiencies in urine testing.

The most common diagnostic test in the world – 2.8 billion urine tests are undertaken each year – the process is the same whether carried out in a bush clinic in the Sudan or a top London hospital. Manual urinalysis can be unhygienic and subject to variation, with risks of spillages, contamination, and errors in analysis and transcription of results.

Oliver spent nine years working closely with senior clinicians to overcome the challenges and devise a system that is hygienic, easy-to-use and accurate.

The result is Urine Testing System™ – a highly-intuitive, closed system designed to improve the entire process, from receiving the urine sample and recording results, to analysis in the laboratory.

Oliver founded Clinical Design from a base at the Exeter Science Park and it has a new manufacturing facility in St Austell with the headquarters moving to Truro this week. He said:

“I am delighted that the panel at Red Dot recognised the delivery of a complex product in such a simple form. Working closely alongside clinicians, we challenged the inefficiencies and methods people had come to accept – we scrutinised every aspect of urinalysis and asked a lot of questions. The Red Dot Award proves to me that I asked the right questions and managed to appropriately translate the answers.”

The awards are judged by a jury of medical experts and leading designers. Founder and CEO of Red Dot, Professor Dr Peter Zec, added:

“The fact that their products were able to satisfy the strict criteria of the jury bears testimony to their award-winning design quality. The laureates are thus setting key trends in the design industry and are showing where future directions may lead.”

In 2019, designers and manufacturers from 55 countries entered more than 5,500 products in the competition.

Urine Testing System™ will be available to healthcare providers across the UK and the Republic of Ireland from Spring 2019. Clinical Design is currently raising capital through private and institutional investors for international expansion.

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