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Ethicon Endo-Surgery Wins Prestigious International Design Award for Innovative Development of HARMONIC FOCUS(TM)

CINCINNATI, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Ethicon Endo-Surgery today announced the company won a Gold 2009 International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) for the research and design process used in the development of the HARMONIC FOCUS(TM) Curved Shear. The company was recognized among thousands of entries for its innovative use of four types of research, including extensive collaboration with surgeons across the globe to identify specific unmet needs in thyroid procedures, which played a critical role in the final product. This award is the latest among several other recent honors Ethicon Endo-Surgery has received for products in the HARMONIC® ultrasonic energy delivery device.

"Over the course the development of the HARMONIC FOCUS, it was clear that Ethicon Endo-Surgery was striving to deliver an instrument that was designed with collaboration and input from surgeons themselves," said Prof. Paolo Miccoli, Full Professor of General Surgery, Director, Department of Surgery, Pisa University. "The continued feedback during prototype testing and the number of surgeons from different countries who were involved in the process was quite impressive. The HARMONIC FOCUS Curved Shear is a truly innovative device that should serve surgeons and their patients well."

The HARMONIC FOCUS Curved Shear development team observed and recorded 21 different surgical procedures in various parts of the world in addition to studying the ethnographic and cultural differences within the operating rooms they visited. This collaborative process and deep analysis produced insights into the fine intricacies of how thyroid procedures are performed and the previously unidentified, tacit needs of surgeons. The findings, along with other market research, were used to develop prototypes, which were evaluated with preference testing and further improved upon based on direct surgeon feedback. Finally, the team conducted usability testing to finalize the end product. The research and testing process, led by an integrated, cross-functional team of industrial designers, scientists and marketers, took place over a three year period.

This year's recognition follows the Bronze IDEA awarded to the HARMONIC FOCUS Curved Shear in 2008 for innovation in design within the medical/scientific category. The first-of-its-kind ultrasonic device was recognized for enhancing surgical efficiency by allowing precise dissection, grasping, coagulation, and cutting without instrument exchanges - demonstrating improved clinical outcomes, including safer dissection near vital structures, increased surgical efficiency and reduced time in the operating room. In addition to the GOLD IDEA in research, another product in the company's energy portfolio, the HARMONIC ACE(TM), was a finalist for a 2009 IDEA in the medical devices category. In 2008, the HARMONIC FOCUS Curved Shear was recognized as one of R&D Magazine's top 100 innovations for significant technological contribution to surgery.

About the IDEA Competition

The IDEA Competition is an international celebration of the year's most innovative and exciting product and product concept designs and one of the world's most prestigious and recognizable design competitions. The IDEA program fosters business and public understanding about the impact of industrial design excellence on the quality of life and the economy.

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is the voice of industrial design, committed to advancing the profession through education, information, community and advocacy.


The HARMONIC® system represents a robust line of ultrasonic energy delivery devices for both laparoscopic and open procedures. These devices offer simultaneous cutting and coagulation, minimal lateral thermal spread, minimal charring and desiccation, and minimal smoke for improved visibility. HARMONIC instruments cut and coagulate (seal tissue) at lower temperatures, thus minimizing lateral thermal tissue spread. In turn, this results in minimal charring of the tissue compared to electrocautery. HARMONIC devices have been used in more than 8 million surgical procedures worldwide since 1995 in a variety of general surgery, gynecologic, colorectal, otolaryngology, urologic, and vessel harvesting procedures.

About Ethicon Endo-Surgery

Ethicon Endo-Surgery develops and markets advanced medical devices for minimally invasive and open surgical procedures, focusing on procedure-enabling devices for the interventional diagnosis and treatment of conditions in general and bariatric surgery, as well as gastrointestinal health, gynecology and surgical oncology. More information can be found at

SOURCE Ethicon Endo-Surgery

SOURCE Ethicon Endo-Surgery
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