Interview with Peter B. Sørensen, Chief Technology Officer
Even the smartest and most innovative dental unit is worthless if the dentists and chairside assistants find it difficult to use. Developing the new digital unit XO FLOW, Peter B. Sørensen, Chief Technology Officer, kept one thing in mind during the entire process: XO FLOW should make it easy for dental practitioners to understand and use all unit and instrument functions, without losing focus on the patient and while maintaining healthy working postures.
The classic unit interface no longer fulfills dentists’ needs
But what is required to create a unit that meets the current demands? Peter explains, ”The key is to optimize the limited space available when working in the oral cavity. When the dentist has to reach for an instrument or use a computer, the treatment is temporarily paused and the dentist risks losing focus on the patient. This also means that the dentist repeatedly works in poor working position during a workday.”
In combination with an increasing need for more advanced unit features expected by modern dentists, the classic unit user interface no longer suffices. “As a consequence, we had to rethink the entire user interface and backend concept. The result of this is XO FLOW with the central element, the Dashboard – a touch-sensitive screen integrated with the instrument bridge,” Peter says.
Intuitive navigation based on skeuomorphic design principles
The Dashboard is a modern, intuitiv and flexible user interface designed in a way that allows the dental practitioner to visually navigate the many features and options. As it is placed near the oral cavity, the dentist can work without interruptions.
Peter and his team have created the Dashboard based on skeuomorphic design principles. It means that buttons and sliders act like physical buttons. Peter elaborates, “This makes the user interface easy to understand and use compared to other graphic user interfaces where user-friendliness is compromised by a lack of overall logic.”
Tech prepared for future needs
Creating XO FLOW has taken years, and the result is a carefully crafted unit that meets the current requirements of dental practitioners. But it is also a unit that is prepared for future needs.
“We have made sure that the unit is easy to upgrade with new instruments, accessories and software. The next upgraded versions of XO FLOW will launch an intraoral video camera, extended endo functions and a surgical solution. And going forward, the unit will be extended with new software for diagnostics and for collection of usage statistics,” Peter continues.
Even though XO FLOW has already received two Red Dot Design Awards, Peter and the R&D team are keen to keep the unit at the technological forefront in the future, continuing the design tradition that XO products are known for.
Read more about upgrading from analogue XO FLEX to the digital XO FLOW dental unit