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29. June 2017

Design is key for a better work environment and patient safety

Design isn’t only about aesthetics. Like with the Q-Flow™, design can be essential to solve a heritage. Masters like Alvar Aalto and Maija Isola blazed the way for today’s Finnish designers, who are more than capable of competing in the global market. Yet design today is much different from the 1950s and 60s.


Finland has an unparalleled desi“Finnish design today is not just about tangible products,” explains Pekka Kumpula of Seos Design. “We use design differently. It is also about service and the experience.”

Designing a good experience

Kumpula was the creative director behind Merivaara’s Q-Flow™ surgical light. The Finnish team which created Q-Flow™ not only won domestic design competitions like the Fennia Prize Grand Prix, but also international ones such as Red Dot.

“While we are very proud of these recognitions, we designed the Q-Flow™ for the users and the patients,” says Jyrki Nieminen, Merivaara’s R&D Director. “Finnish design is functional,” he continues. “We rip off everything that isn’t necessary, and then we shape what is needed into a beautiful object. That is what we did with the Q-Flow™.”

Nieminen points out that the Q-Flow™ is easy to approach because operating room staff don’t want to worry about complicated equipment. The light was designed to be simple to use. The illumination renders red and skin colours better and gives almost perfect rendering in other colours of the spectrum. Q-Flow™ even includes dynamic obstacle compensation to overcome shadows in the light field. All of this is to make a better work environment for nurses and surgeons so they can concentrate on their jobs.

Focusing on the human

“We focus on the human,” as Kumpula says, and the reason everyone is in an operating theatre is for the human on the operating table: the patient. The most eye-catching design feature of the Q-Flow™ is how it improves patient safety.

Hospital associated infections are a major global problem. Traditional lights can create air turbulence, pulling microbes right into the surgical area. The design of the Q-Flow™ reduces turbulence intensity and optimizes air flow. If you want to see a demonstration of how it works, check out our smoke test video.

“I had a vision of something like the Q-Flow™ many years ago,” Nieminen says. “When we were finally designing it I was so enthusiastic. We had such positive energy. And today when we hear such great feedback from nurses and doctors I realize our design has not only improved patient safety but has also benefited the professional lives of the health care staff.”

If you want to learn more about how the design of the Q-Flow™ surgical light can improve your work environment and increase your patients’ safety, please give us a call.


  • Jyrki Nieminen, R&D Director
  • Mobile +358 40 843 9755
  • Email:

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