Case Study - Medical - DrPatch
DrPatch, Montréal, QC
Lyse-Anne Roy is president and CEO of DrPatch, a company she founded in 2007 following the diagnostic of her son’s Zacharie amblyopia, an eye problem that according to eye specialists affects 3-5% of children. Total occlusion with an eyepatch is a simple and efficient treatment, but the products on the market such as the pirate eyepatch and adhesive bandages repulse children and thus torment parents. They are large, uncomfortable and not very attractive. Typically, the child gets picked on by other children and attracts unwanted attention to his eye problem. For many this results in a loss of self-esteem and more often than not, treatment abandon.
Relying on her maternal instincts, entrepreneurship and graphic designer talents, Lyse-Anne Roy and the industrial designer Michael Moliner joined forces and designed the DrPatch eyepatch. Having reached the limits of trial and error and first prototypes, it was time to take the next step, acquiring an injection mold to be used with silicone rubber, the material of choice to answer the product’s criteria (light, durable and hygienic).
Finding the right partner
The challenge was not over yet! Lyse-Anne Roy wanted to present her innovative eyepatch to the dragons on the TV show “Dans l’oeil du dragon” for which auditions were a few months away. She turned to numerous manufacturers in China, Italy and Québec but none could meet the project’s requirements. Other than the tight deadlines, the production was limited to small quantities so costs were high and the guarantees of satisfaction were non-existent. She also wanted to ensure to not skip the first article phase and be able to make revisions if necessary. This was not something possible with overseas suppliers; a local supplier was the better option. It is during a conference on ecoconception that designer Michael Moliner met Eric Leclair of Vicone and referred him to Lyse-Anne Roy. The project took off.
“Vicone’s proposal was not only the most competitive, but I was reassured by the professionalism of their team. During the months we worked together, communication was timely and efficient and deadlines were always met. At the end of the process, I was impressed by the product’s quality and its extremely precise color! I’m proud that my eyepatch was designed and produced by a firm in Québec”, commented Lyse-Anne Roy.
“She knew exactly what she wanted and was determined to get it – and I totally understand her! I grasped the project’s parameters well being myself the father of a child that underwent the total occlusion treatment with adhesive bandages. It was a difficult experience and I’m happy that Vicone’s work contributed to DrPatch’s project for kids suffering from this eye problem.”, expressed Eric Leclair.
Optimizing the product
Other than the conception challenges that the industrial designer identified, the first articles supplied by Vicone allowed fine-tuning of the product’s performance in terms of comfort and stability. Also, it was possible to tweak the eyepatch suction cup inside the glasses by adding more suppleness for better suction.
“During the first tests, the eyepatch was too soft and did not fit the eye contour properly. By adding rigidity to the shell, without sacrificing comfort, the results obtained were optimal”, commented Eric Leclair.
Finally, natural ventilation was necessary but without letting any light in… Lateral perforations with an angle were made to let the air go through but not the light.
Following her presentation at the show Dans l’oeil du dragon (episode 7 of the 2013 season), the product received support from Daniele Henkel Inc. for its upcoming commercialization. A bright future lies ahead for the DrPatch product that answers important needs of children suffering from eye problems.
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