The ShakerScope is a project that was conceived by a Welsh doctor working his craft in remote parts of Africa. One of the constant problems Dr. David Williams had to overcome was the necessity of batteries to power certain medical devices, including the light on a laryngoscope. Realizing that a small LED light can be powered by something other than batteries, the idea for a kinetic powered laryngoscope was conceived.
TCT News Magazine, a publication for the product development industry, has an article on how the Shakerscope came to be. A snippet:
With funding granted by the Welsh Assembly Government, David approached PDR (The National Centre for Product Design and Development Research) to redesign the device. PDR, an accredited Centre of Excellence for Technology and Industry Collaboration based at the UWIC campus in Cardiff, took the device back to first principles and developed it from initial concept design through to functional product utilising its own extensive in-house technologies, equipment and expertise.
It was clear to the design team that the product had applications in the developed as well as developing world, greatly expanding its potential market and increasing its attractiveness to investors. As a reliable self powered light source the device could be used for other essential examinations and procedures in clinics and surgeries across the world.
A brief was developed that demanded the rapid development of a self powered device, suitable for multiple procedures without recharging. Charge time should be minimised and the light generated must be as powerful as that already available through battery powered devices.
Initial design work was undertaken to greatly improve the efficiency of the device and to create a range of initial concepts that hinted at a sophisticated design and package that could be equally at home in a snowfield or desert through to modern GP’s office or paramedics backpack.
With a final concept agreed, the first stages of the design and engineering process highlighted a requirement for a compact, light, robust, waterproof and shock resistant instrument that was strong enough to endure all types of potential damage whilst being small enough to transport manually with ease. It also became apparent that the utility of the product could be greatly extended by the addition of interchangeable medical device attachments to inspect body cavities such as ears, eyes and throat. A range of detachable device heads, including laryngascopes, ophthalmoscopes and ostoscopes, were conceptualised and developed. These offered the potential of providing significant advantages to users in cost, space and weight compared to conventional devices, which require a separate power and light source for each application.