MICROFOAM – innovative design against venous disorders

Varicose veins are a common problem, but there is finally an effective and gentle solution. The method of Dr. Juan Cabrera from Spain, Microfoam, has proven to be one of the best. The technique uses a micro fine pharmaceutical foam to obliterate the veins, creating an occlusion. And now there will soon be the smart device to go with it – the Cabrera M-Foamer – a holistic product and brand development by WILDDESIGN.

The treatment

For treatment, the doctor or therapist uses the active substance polidocanol, which has a sclerosing effect that is further potentiated by foaming. In the “Clinicas Cabreras”, about 1000 out-patient treatments of this kind have been successfully performed annually for 30 years now. Instead of simply using the pure pharmaceutical, it is foamed. Due to the physically increased surface area, it displaces the blood and covers the walls of the vein. Perfect foam consistency is important for optimal treatment.

Clinicas Cabrera in Granada

Perfect foam – at the push of a button?

Until now, the production of pharmaceutical foam has been anything but smart. Users often use two injection syringes, between which the sclerosant is manually injected back and forth through a filter – a laborious and inexact process which is also controversial because atmospheric air is often brought into the foam. This can lead to dangerous embolisms. Bubble size and foam disintegration time are difficult to control with this method, and it requires experienced operators.

A few years ago, the son of the inventor Dr. Juan Cabrera who bears the same name, therefore developed the prototype for a device that would automate the production of the foam and optimize control over the foam quality. The first steps had been taken but the medical team lacked expertise in design and product development. That’s why Juan Cabrera brought WILDDESIGN on board in 2019. Even though the location of his clinics is mainly in Spain and Central America, he definitely wanted design and engineering from Germany for this task.

Dr. Juan Cabrera Jr. adjusting the foam quality

High-tech – close to the patient!

Until now, the manual production of the microfoam took place in a room next to the treatment room and, with interruptions due to the back and forth, was an imposition for patients and doctors. The request: new devices should be used as close to the patient as possible. On the one hand, the innovative product design has the task of providing the right foam “at the push of a button”. On the other hand, the modern design and operation via touch display should emphasize the state-of-the-art technology.

In addition to polidocanol, the ideal microfoam also requires a specific supply of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) as well as sterile water. Along with the actual technology, the housing contains two connected gas cylinders. Unsightly screw connections or cutting sites have been avoided in order to look good from all angles, even when set up in the middle of the room. Patients experience a luxury application, so the CABRERA M-Foamer should also fit into this context.

The device represents Dr. Cabrera and his method at the same time, so a high recognition factor is a priority. In an initial design, the device consisted of two parts. However, by seamlessly connecting it to the stand, the initially compact tabletop unit has become a columnar unit that also accommodates two gas cylinders and the sterile water bag. BYTEC Medizintechnik from our WILDDESIGN network was enlisted for the development of hardware and software as well as the subsequent assembly and device manufacturing. The microfoam is produced in a case designed by BYTEC with the composition desired by the physician. Unusable foam residues and irrigation fluids are also collected in this disposable and disposed of after treatment.

Four casters make the CABRERA M-Foamer mobile, thus it can be used in different treatment rooms.

High-tech instead of manual work

The device is operated via a large touch screen at the top of its base, where the user can control the process. The screen’s angle can be adjusted so that the device can be used while standing or sitting. The sturdy monitor arm is also suitable as a handle for moving the device.

Just like the overall appearance, the interface had to be modern and intuitive to use. For this purpose, WILDDESIGN developed a graphical user interface, which was implemented together with our partner BYTEC. The final GUI simply guides the user with few settings through the production of the microfoam. After selecting a profile, the GUI leads the user through the insertion of the case, the removal of the foam and the cleaning process. Along the user workflow, WILDDESIGN contributed images for the instructions. In the form of so-called wireframes, i.e. simplified screen interfaces, these were first simulated before the final user interface was created.

A holistic development with a lot of heart and soul

During the collaboration, it became clear time and again how much heart and soul Dr. Juan Cabrera put into this process, and so each interim presentation was a little highlight for both sides. The fact that the Cabrera M-Foamer is now also associated with an iconic system naturally makes a special contribution to the branding of the method. To support the start-up in this respect as well, we worked with our marketing consultant to create the initial positioning, including corporate design, webpage and promotional video, and also recommended a management consultant from our Healthcare Shapers network to work out the go-to-market strategy.

The website with video – www.m-foamer.com – simply worth seeing!

The system is now about to be launched and will be showcased at Arab Health in Dubai in January 2023. Take a look at the CABRERA M-Foamer in action!

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Markus writes about design- and innovation management, creativity methods, medical design and intercultural branding. More about...

Originally written by Markus Wild, 01. February 2023. Last updated 12. October 2023


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