Fifty years ago, when New Zealand was just beginning to train designers, a concerned doctor and some engineers from Fisher & Paykel solved a problem that was killing patients.
They humidified patient ventilation. A preserving jar, and some piping, it now looks like quintessential number eight wire innovation.
But fifty years of continual and increasingly sophisticated product development have spawned a company that is now New Zealand’s largest hi-tech exporter.
The People at Fisher & Paykel will tell you two things they learned fifty years ago that drive them still:
“1. Having the patient at the centre of everything we do sparks innovation.
2. Having the designers close to that patient creates empathetic thinking and meaningful solutions.”
Their care for patients is obvious and the fact that last year they helped 14 million of them is a source of pride and inspiration. In hospitals and at home Fisher & Paykel Healthcare products give those patients quality of life and often life itself.
Sleep apnea is one condition that tests Fisher & Paykel healthcare’s innovation to the full. No one wants to wear a mask & pump in bed and making it stay on comfortably when the physics of breathing pushes it off is the trickiest of design paradoxes.
Their success and growth in this area is evidence of their potency and their potential to grow beyond the billion dollars sales they cracked last year.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare are champions of the power of good design to create massive impact.