One of the businesses that Interface has worked with, snap40, is to feature as an “exhibition highlight” in the new V&A Dundee when it opens on Saturday (15 September).

The wearable device, that uses artificial intelligence to monitor patients’ vital signs, will be on permanent display in the Scottish Design Galleries – which sit at the heart of V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum.

Christopher McCann co-founded snap40 whilst he was a medical student at University of Dundee. He noticed that manual systems of gathering data on vital signs meant that deteriorations in patients were not seen until long after they had started. The wireless device drastically reduces the amount of time medical staff spend on monitoring patients, and crucially, alerts physicians and nurses via wireless technology if there is any deterioration.

Interface assisted snap40 by matching them with academic expertise in the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) when they sought to find a method of incorporating an ultrasound measurement into the device to monitor patient hydration levels, non-invasively.

The company collaborated with Dave Hughes, a former Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Engineering and Computing, who also founded UWS’s first spin-out company Novosound, which aims to push the limits of ultrasound by exploiting thin film technologies in current and untapped markets.

The project with snap40 was funded by a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher and through follow-on support from the Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI) and allowed Dave to kick-start a collaboration between his research group and snap40, as well as demonstrating sensor technology.

The snap40 device was chosen to be exhibited in the Scottish Design Gallery which focuses on how design influences and shapes the places we live and the way we do things.

The Scottish Design Galleries will be free to enter and feature around 300 exhibits drawn from the remarkable collections of the V&A, as well as from museums and private collections across Scotland and the world, covering architecture, ceramics, engineering, fashion, furniture, healthcare, jewellery, textiles, video game design and more.

To find out more about how Interface supported snap40 and the collaboration with the University of the West of Scotland please read our case study.

If you are a business interested in collaborating with university, research institute or college expertise, please contact us.

We caught up with Chris McCann, and put a few questions to him about the V&A collaboration:

Q) What is your reaction to learning that the V&A had chosen to include a snap40 wearable device in the Scottish Design Gallery as one of only 300 exhibits? Will you go and visit it once the V&A opens?

A) As you can imagine we are delighted and feel very honoured to have our snap40 device included in only 300 permanent exhibits at the Scottish Design Gallery at the new V&A Dundee.  

It’s especially gratifying that the snap40 device has been included to highlight how the role of design affects societal change as changing how patients are cared for at a time when healthcare resources are being stretched is at the very heart of what we do. Having our product on permanent display illustrating this change is a wonderful recognition of Scottish innovation and the fantastic creative team we have here at snap40, who conceptualised, designed and built the product.

Yes, we are definitely looking forward to seeing the exhibition, in fact, we are planning a team outing to visit.

Q) Is this your highlight on the snap40 journey so far?

A) It is certainly one of them! We are in the fortunate position of creating something which we know improves and saves lives so whilst having our device recognised and on permanent display is amazing, if I’m honest it’s the feedback that we receive from physicians and patients which truly motivates me.