Improved experience during induction of labour


Designing healthcare for women by women

Induction of labour is an increasingly common intervention in childbirth. To improve the experience for women undergoing the procedure, the Norwegian startup Induvita has developed the Iola induction kit - a new balloon catheter and a speculum designed specifically for this purpose. We have helped them design the products and ensure the patient experience is a priority.

Induction kit designed for women

Due to its high efficacy and low risk, most labour inductions in Norway are done with balloon catheters inserted through the maternal cervix to simulate pressure on the cervix and induce labour. However, the device currently used for this procedure is not explicitly designed for its purpose: The catheter is usually a male urinary catheter, and the speculum is the same speculum used for non-pregnant women. The Iola induction kit is the first developed specifically for pregnant women.

The Iola induction kit consists of three parts: A balloon catheter, a speculum, and a prefilled unit (for filling the balloon). All these parts are designed to feel as comfortable and non-invasive as possible for the pregnant woman. The materials are smooth and soft to the touch (traditional speculums are made of metal), and the shapes are rounded. Most importantly – each part is designed to adjust to a pregnant woman’s body.

Bringing the woman into the centre

To ensure that the new product is designed to provide the best experience possible for the woman giving birth, as well as being an easy tool to use for midwives and obstetricians, we gathered extensive user insight from these user groups. We interviewed women who had experienced balloon induction and involved midwives and obstetricians in workshops to identify their needs. With this as a basis, we worked on concepts and mockups.

Some of the steps in a labour induction procedure. The valve in the iola catheter is soft, and will not feel uncomfortable for the woman in “the waiting time”.
Being induced can be a stressful and uncomfortable experience where the woman can feel vulnerable. While existing balloon catheters are functional and safe, they don’t provide the best experience for pregnant women. Designing the Induvita balloon catheter specifically for pregnant women can improve the experience for women undergoing the procedure.
"A vital part of the process has been to use women designers who have experienced pregnancy and childbirth. Designing for women, with women, and by women gives credibility to the design.”
Maren Sjåholm Rimehaug, Industrial Designer, EGGS Design

What happens now?

The product is currently being tested on dummies (testing on patients is not allowed at this stage), and the design is developed further.

In addition, Induvita are also looking into designing another product - a training simulator. This simulator would allow healthcare staff and students to practice vaginal examinations of pregnant women, but also to practice interventions such as inductions and other procedures.

Sounds interesting?

Maren Sjåholm Rimehaug

Get in touch with Industrial Designer/Service Designer
Maren Sjåholm Rimehaug
+47 900 55 398

Hanne Eidsvik

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Hanne Eidsvik
+47 918 83 811

Carl André Nørstebø

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Carl André Nørstebø
+47 404 01 141

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