The Karten Design team tells the behind-the-scenes stories of its most iconic products, and how research guides us in unexpected ways

by Karten Design

As designers, our job is full of surprises. We’re making decisions and bridging creative leaps based on the values and habits of a product’s end users. Sometimes we know what these things are; sometimes we think we know; sometimes we’re wrong. That’s why we do design research — for those moments that surprise us, that upend our assumptions. These are the moments when we really feel like we’re learning something. Those times when the reality of a situation is different from our initial understanding are when design research is really necessary.

Years ago, for an office book…


Smarter Speed, Better Process, and Faster Iterations will lower the barriers and create more innovation in medical device and equipment

by Eric Olson, Karten Design

Karten Design is an industrial design firm specializing in medical devices and equipment. We are known for designs that look and work like consumer devices. Since the start of the pandemic, companies and innovators have come to us to create testing and other equipment to help address COVID-19. We have learned many lessons through this time and we believe that medical design will be forever changed, for the better. …


Axonics Modulation Technologies | Design by Karten Design
Axonics Modulation Technologies | Design by Karten Design

by Stuart Karten

Medical device design has been going through sweeping changes over the last decade. Ten years ago, medical device companies weren’t concerned with delivering consumer-level design: Devices that are both attractive and intuitively easy to use by a wide variety of users. Then the Affordable Care Actwas passed, and adherence and healthy behavior change became a regulatory requirement.

Our firm, which has been a long-time proponent of the “consumerization” of medical product design, saw a steady uptick in business based on our ability to deliver product experiences that a consumer expects while also meeting regulatory requirements of the…


Visual White Paper Series

“Solution providers must understand the emerging health consumer and the dynamics that influence their decisions” — Stuart Karten, CEO, Karten Design.

About the Author
Karten Design is an award-winning industrial design firm specializing in medical devices and equipment. To learn more about our work, please visit us: www.kartendesign.com


In the Age of COVID-19, product design has sped up. To create better medical devices faster, our firm has learned how to turn standard collaboration into Turbo Collaboration

In the Age of COVID-19, collaboration must turn into turbo collaboration. We’re a design firm, specializing in medical product design, and we’ve never seen products being created at such a fast pace. Product cycles are taking on a new type of velocity: sixteen-week design cycles have been reduced to six weeks. Much of the design turbo drive has to do with the emergency need for COVID-19 testing equipment. But we are also…


COVID-19 Testing Manufacturers Need Designers With These Five Skills

The onslaught of the pandemic has encouraged many manufacturers to create COVID testing devices. Some manufacturers, like Abbott, have years of experience creating and deploying medical devices while other companies might have efficient ways to bring products to market but lack the understanding of making medical devices. Additionally, COVID-19 test devices are rapidly moving from a lab environment to regular people (think restaurants, malls, and sports stadiums) so an extensive understanding of developing and deploying user friendly features must be integrated into all of these products.

To create effective device COVID-19…


Visual White Paper Series

“The next 30 years will be a defining era for the American healthcare system, as the number of adults aged 65 and older will double to nearly 90 million people by 2050. Amid an already stretched infrastructure, plagued by rising costs and a shortage of skilled workers, the Baby Boomer generation — the largest in history — ages into the most demanding segment of healthcare consumers.” — Stuart Karten, CEO, Karten Design

About the Author

Karten Design is an award-winning industrial design firm specializing in medical devices and equipment. To learn more about our work, please visit us: www.kartendesign.com


Visual White Paper Series

Change is Hard: Motivating Healthy Behavior — A Visual White Paper Series

“It’s a time of great opportunity for companies that can respond with meaningful innovation.” — Stuart Karten, CEO, Karten Design

About the Author

Karten Design is an award-winning industrial design firm specializing in medical devices and equipment. To learn more about our work, please visit us: www.kartendesign.com


The coronavirus outbreak has brought epic casualties as more than 7.3 million cases have been confirmed globally and more than 413,000 people-and counting-are known to have died. In the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown flaws in our medical system, from basic preparedness to the coordinated distribution of medical equipment. Within this global tragedy, there are stories of heroism and renewed mind power and energy addressing health care.

In reaction to shortages, we’re seeing DIY masks and consortiums, like Shield Makers where one of our designers is helping his students produce 3-D printed reusable shields. We’re also seeing state…


Virtual medicine might seem unwise or unnecessary in non-crisis times, but there are some demographic shifts underway, which suggest that it is all but inevitable. The world’s population is aging. At the same time, a shortage of medical professionals threatens to leave vulnerable groups without adequate care. We’re also seeing more people carrying high deductible policies, which may discourage patients from seeking care.

As a result, the home is becoming the most important real estate in healthcare. Technological advancements, like wearables and electroceuticals, give patients a way of assessing their health without stepping foot in a doctor’s office. Researchers are…

Karten Design

Karten Design is an award-winning industrial design firm specializing in medical devices and equipment.

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