From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Innovative Wound Care Device Wins the IEHF Ergonomics Design Award

Ease of use and patient satisfaction were just two of the factors that resulted in the V.A.C.Via™ Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System winning the 2012 Ergonomics Design Award (EDA).

This single-use, portable and discreet wound care system was developed by Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (KCI), a global medical technology company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. The V.A.C.Via™ System provides seven days of V.A.C.® (Vacuum Assisted Closure®) therapy for mobile patients. Designed for use in hospital and out-patient environments, patients can complete treatment in their own homes or even at work. 

The EDA judges were also impressed by the unit’s hand-shaped design, button size and simplified user interface design which were developed  based on clinicians’ previous experience of similar devices. 

The EDA, sponsored by CCD Design & Ergonomics is organised annually by the Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors and this year was presented on Tuesday 17 April at the Ergonomics & Human Factors Conference in Blackpool.  The EDA was established to recognise ergonomics excellence in the design of a new product which is also a commercial success.

The KCI entry was one of nine final products to make the shortlist, with the panel of distinguished judges including representatives from the Design Council, Which Magazine and Ricability (the independent consumer research charity), the President of the Chartered Society of Designers and two leading independent designers as well as CCD’s Executive Chairman John Wood. 

John Wood said:” The V.A.C.Via™System clearly offered an innovative solution to a need and demonstrates real attention to patients’ requirements. The V.A.C.Via™ System is a worthy winner of this year’s Award.”

Christopher Locke, Director of Engineering & Technology at KCI commented: “KCI is delighted to have won the Ergonomics Design Award. The development of the V.A.C.Via™ System represents a truly patient-centred approach to care and is an example of an acute therapy that can now be delivered in the home, as outlined in the Department of Health white paper Equity to Excellence: Liberating the NHS.”

For further information : CCD MD John Wood on 0207 593 2900 email or Senior Director of Corporate Communications EMEA, KCI Sarah Swift on +44 (0)7970 742696, email

Background Information

The IEHF (Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors) was previously known as the Ergonomics Society, which was founded in 1949. The IEHF is the professional body for practitioners in the field of ergonomics, with an international membership in excess of 1600. Its aim is to promote the awareness, education and application of ergonomics in industry, commerce, public sector and government.   Website address: To locate an ergonomics consultant, see the Consultancy Register on the home page of the website.

For information about the Ergonomics & Human Factors Conference at Blackpool from 16-19 April, see

About KCI 

Kinetic Concepts, Inc. is a leading global medical technology company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of innovative, high-technology therapies and products for the wound care and therapeutic support system markets. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, KCI has significantly advanced the science of wound healing over the course of more than three decades. KCI’s success can be traced to a history deeply rooted in innovation and a passion for significantly improving patient outcomes while reducing the overall cost of care for patients around the world. KCI’s proprietary negative pressure technologies have revolutionized the way in which caregivers treat a wide variety of wound types. The V.A.C.® Therapy System has been used on more than 6 million wounds worldwide. Additional information about KCI and its products is available at