For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Product Design Student Recognized by Core77 Design Awards for Medical Device Redesign

Concept photo for Convatec bag by Henry McGettigan

July 6, 2023

Product Design student Henry McGettigan was recognized as a Student Notable (Health & Wellness Category) in the Core77 Design Awards 2023. Core77 is an online design magazine dedicated to the practice and produce of the field of industrial design.

McGettigan’s recognized design was developed as part of a Product Design course sponsored by ConvaTec in the fall. Students in the class were challenged to redesign the ostomy bag – the waste collection pouch used by patients after colostomy surgery – without compromising its medical function.

In his report, McGettigan writes, “I have learned a lot about the scary process, and the insecure mental space that this procedure leaves many stuck in. The truth is that it is not the patient's problem, but rather a societal acceptance issue. In other words, this is a design to battle bad stigma around a necessary medical procedure.”

Seeing the challenges faced by colostomy patients (leakage issues, ease of use, insecurity, and stigma), McGettigan undertook a winding design journey. Current market designs require patients to painstakingly measure their stoma, trace the measurement onto a sticker, and perfectly place the bag with no room for mistakes. McGettigan began by striving to redesign the way someone might measure their stoma, but after significant research and development, decided to throw out the playbook and reinvent the existing product. The resulting design employs an aperture device, which eliminates the need for measurement on the user’s part. The bag is redesigned as well, with a sleek finish and easy application.

“My goal was to bring confidence to the user, and for me, that meant a bag that looked strong, modern, and foolproof,” McGettigan says. “I want the user to be able to trust their technology so they can live their lives as normal people, not being crushed by the label of an ostomate.

Learn more about McGettigan’s project and the Core77 Design Awards here.

You can learn more about the Convatec-sponsored course, Interdisciplinary Product Studio, here.