Monarch IV

Research / Strategy / Industrial Design / Branding / Human Factors / Competitive and Analogous Benchmarking

Alcon, a global leader in eye care, embarked on a journey to develop the Monarch IV system, a revolutionary product designed to improve cataract surgery procedures. They asked Tekna to support them in the development of not only the latest Monarch system, but also the space in which the procedures were performed in.

3D Rendering of the Alcon Monarch IV tool. One floating in front and the other angle floating in background.

The Monarch IV system consists of a one-piece disposable cartridge with progressive folding capabilities and a reusable handpiece. It’s used to insert intraocular lenses (IOLs) into the eye following cataract removal.

Tekna identified several key opportunities to enhance the Monarch IV system over previous models:

  • Center of Gravity and Grip: we sought to improve the system’s ergonomic design by shifting the center of gravity and optimizing the grip for surgeons, ensuring better precision and comfort during procedures.
  • Material and Diameter: By carefully selecting suitable materials and optimizing the diameter of the injection point, we improved the performance and safety of the system.
  • Weight and Overall Size: Reducing the weight and overall size of the system contributed to ease of use for surgeons and minimized patient discomfort.
  • Mechanisms and Touch Points: Enhancements to the mechanical components and touch points aimed to improve the overall functionality and user experience.
Sketch of a hand holding a rendering of the Monarch IV product with product highlights labeled
Drawing of the handle of the Monarch IV device with part of the inside exposed.
Alcon Monarch IV Brand Standards laid out in a top down, flat lay manner and staggered

Our brand and visualization team embarked on an exciting branding journey with Alcon. We meticulously refined their brand standards, infusing them with clarity and contemporary flair. This rejuvenation not only enhanced the brand’s resonance but also made it more accessible to a broader audience. Building on this rejuvenated foundation, our adept visualization team crafted a captivating animation. This piece artfully brings to the forefront the distinctive features of Monarch’s product, intertwining them with the refreshed brand elements. The endeavor seamlessly blended modern aesthetics with approachability, striking a balance we’re immensely proud of.

In addition to product development, Tekna conducted extensive research and collaborated with Eckert Wordell, an architecture firm partner, to optimize ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) for Monarch procedures (should we say Alcon here?). By studying procedure and patient flow, our goal was to maximize the number of procedures that could be performed in a day, thereby addressing the growing demand for eye procedures due to an aging population.

With thousands of individuals turning 65 daily, cataract surgeries are on the rise, making ASCs a more efficient and patient-centric choice compared to traditional hospitals.

Sketch of Monarch IV
Sketch of Monarch IV

During our research, we found many opportunities to improve the patient and staff experience.

  • Facilitating Improved Communication: Alcon aimed to create an environment where effective communication between patients, families, and medical staff could take place with ease and comfort.
  • Smoother Workflows: Streamlining workflows for both staff and patients helped enhance efficiency, reduce wait times, and improve overall patient satisfaction.
  • Enhanced Aesthetics: Despite budget constraints, Tekna looked for ways to enhance the aesthetics of the surgical spaces, creating a more pleasant and calming atmosphere for patients.
  • Easier Scheduling Systems: Implementing user-friendly scheduling systems allowed for seamless appointment bookings and efficient management of surgical procedures.

Alcon’s Monarch IV represents a significant advancement in cataract surgery (is it an advancement in the surgery itself?), driven by innovative design, optimized surgical spaces, and a collaborative approach. By leveraging capabilities such as research, strategy, human factors, and benchmarking, Tekna successfully developed a state-of-the-art product that improved patient outcomes and surgeon experiences.

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