Respinor DXT Read Out Unit 

User centred design of
Respinor’s read out unit

Product: Read Out Unit for Respinor DXT system 
Client: Respinor AS


Starting with a Design-driven Innovation Programme (DIP) project in 2016, K8 has assisted Respinor to design and manufacture their Read Out Unit (ROU) for the DXT system. The DXT technology uses ultrasonic transducers to passively monitor the diaphragm excursion of patients on breathing support in intensive care.

The ROU is both the driving system for the ultrasonic transducers, as well as the computing unit for interpreting the ultrasonic signals, then used to create graphs and trend lines displayed to clinicians through the Graphical User Interface.


The initial DIP project involved gathering feedback from clinicians working in Intensive Care Units (ICU). This gave the team a clear overview of the operating environment of an ICU: how staff typically interact with bedside monitoring systems, how the ward is set up, location of equipment around the patient bed and typical routines relating to general patient care. This also gave the team first hand insight into the additional requirements needed for design of this medical device. 

The team was then able to establish both the user journey for the whole DXT system as well as key functions and user requirements of the ROU: such as, a clear touch screen interface for displaying patient data, easy to access ports and IV pole or rail compatibility. This resulted in several high resolution concepts which were presented to Respinor.

Following selection of the ROU concept, the team then went into depth on the placement of components inside the ROU, considering access to ports on the PCBs, internal wiring, cooling and installation into the plastic housing. This resulted in a 3D printed working prototype of the ROU which could be used to gather further feedback on the user journey and the technical aspects of the ultrasonic monitoring system.

Following the DIP delivery, K8 worked further with the project together with Respinor. In this phase, the internal architecture was refined, also allowing flexibility for the development team at Respinor to easily work with testing of the internal components. K8 facilitated the manufacture process of the final version using vacuum casting, these units then being used in clinical trials towards CE marking. 


The final design of the DXT ROU provides a refined, minimalistic interface between DXT patient data and the clinician. The design consists of two LEMO plug ports which are side mounted and colour coded for easy, visible access when plugging in the ultrasonic probes. The power cord is also mounted at the side. All other ‘in-use’ applications are facilitated by the 10 inch touchscreen with Graphical User Interface also designed by K8. The ROU can be attached directly to IV poles or wall mounted rails commonly found in ICUs. 

The final product has allowed Respinor to carry out the necessary tests and clinical trials to further development and introduction of the DXT system. 

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