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MELIN MEDICAL: Design is for all

Great minds not only think alike, they think to create. This is something that the Norwegian entrepreneur, Jesper Melin, found himself doing back in 2009. The main idea was to develop a device that would allow doctors to spend more time with the individual patient. In the eyes of the Danish design duo, Signe Weis Damkjær, and Birgitte Smedegaard, it was an important but challenging task.

The health system in Norway does not offer free visits to your local doctor which often results in some interesting happenings when wallets are drawn from the pockets. And that was what gave Jesper the idea. A terminal was to be produced that could handle both credit card as well as cash. The desired objective behind the product was to reduce the administrative workload and thereby create more time for the patients.


Sine Weis and Birgitte Smedegaard who are behind the brand “designduo” were able to present a solution, previously used by the Danish company, BEAS. And that showed to be exactly what Jesper Melin had in mind.


But like all other projects, a list of challenges follows that requires expertise from the designer as well as the supplier.


One size should fit all
This means that both young, elderly and any kind of disabled person should have access to the product. This required the terminal to be accessible from both a standing, sitting and laying position.


Access for all
Another challenge concerned the balance between the innovation, the technology and the fact that the product should be highly accessible for everyone and everywhere despite geo - and demography.


High-security measures both in terms of payment and patient confidentiality 
The terminal contains various components that are linked to payment which puts forward a number of requirements in terms of design as well as technology.


The need for implementation was urgent
One of the criteria for a successful design was that the project could be launched on the market within a relatively short timeframe. A challenge that Jesper conquered by way of extensive knowledge sharing and great involvement of his network.


More pictures and learn about the terminal


The involvement of Metalwo

Designduo reached out to Metalwo in the very beginning of the production process. They reasoned it with Metalwo’s ability to operate fast and flexible which posed as the number one criteria for selection. This resulted in the first test-versions leaving the fabric already in January 2010, only six months after the process was initiated.


Desingduo was confident in the launching of the product but pointed out a number of challenges in relation to the shaping of the terminal. In order for the terminal to gain the desired aesthetic look, it was vital that the metal did not show sign of stretches. That was one of the elements that posed a challenge for the production at Metalwo but was met and fulfilled.


“The solution was not obvious but by taking a little detour from the original plan we found that integration of foil was the solution to the problem” Leif Schou, Director of Metalwo explains. The end result was a terminal that, within the first year, became widely implemented among Norweigan doctors.


Learn more about the process of bending


Success for Norwegian Doctors

Another essential challenge concerned the negotiation between the stakeholders in choosing the high-end solution. Other solutions were in play but in order to gain the best interplay between the components, thorough integration was required.


“The ability to implement solutions, in specific, poses an essential reason to why Melin Medical has succeeded in a market with intensive competition”, designduo explains.


Today, the terminal has gone through further development from T1 to T2 which designduo likewise designed shortly after the launch of T1. The new model is narrower and the design has improved in terms of user-friendliness. In addition, T1 allows the patients to pay with cash when they visit their doctor.


The terminal now helps 75% of Norwegian doctors to gain more time with their patients and it is a great example of a successful collaboration where innovation, design, and technology meet.