In the dental unit industry, a new platform is introduced roughly every fifteen or twenty years, and looking back, a dental unit is essentially the same as it was 150 years ago. When a genuinely innovative dental unit like the digital XO FLOW is introduced, it is a game changer. Kim Sørensen, CEO and Chief Designer of XO CARE, says, “Finding the right way to develop and work with the implementation of novel digital applications has the potential to change the industry radically. In the creation of XO FLOW, this has been my goal, always with an emphasis on the end user.”
An uncompromising approach results in extraordinary results
Kim is known for his determined approach to design and functionality, and XO FLOW is the result of countless iterations before Kim and his team had the final product in their hands: A digital dental unit with workflow guidance, dental apps and a built-in computer, network connection and other novel digital features not seen in dentistry before.
But the development process kicked off miles away from the XO headquarters in Denmark. “When we create a new product, the first step is always watching the dentists work and understanding their needs. This is where we find inspiration to what could be done differently, and how we can use technology to create solutions that help dentists work in a better way,” explains Kim Sørensen.
Kim continues, “I try to envision what would work best even if the user does not yet necessarily know it himself. Discovering these needs can be very time-consuming and is often done through trial and error. Especially for me, being a perfectionist, it can be a while until I am happy with what I have come up with. I just keep on trying until there is no way I can improve. That is the creative process I go through.”
Minimalism of design
Kim’s relentless strive for the perfect, simple design is based on an ambition to create timeless and classic products with best-in-class functional features. “Lennart Goof, a former mentor of mine, taught me the minimalism of design: One should never add anything that is not necessary only for its visual appeal. This philosophy is similarly showcased in the architectural traditions of BAUHAUS, which is definitely an inspiration. Working with very simple forms encourages purity in the way of thinking and can lead to achieving timeless design,” says Kim.
The need for tech in the dental unit
According to Kim, integrating technology into the dental unit is a natural step when looking at the development on the market. He explains, “For years, dental practitioners have been performing treatments while relying mainly on analogue tools and manual ways of working. But over the next five to ten years, the adaptation of digital innovations in dental care will be driven by a few fundamental, mutually reinforcing trends.”
The main trends are, firstly, that practitioners request integration of the treatment units with other dental devices and software solutions. Secondly, that health authorities require more standardization, documentation and increased infection control. Thirdly, that clinic owners demand a high return on investment. And finally, that the dental industry is undergoing a significant transformation as practices become larger with many – often part-time – employees.
“The vision of the XO FLOW was to make the dental practitioners ready for these changes with a digital dental unit in a high-end design that attracts patients and employees and at the same time enhances the practitioners’ skills and protects their health, while providing the best patient experience and ensuring high return on investment,” Kim elaborates, and at its introduction to the market the XO FLOW stands out as a state-of-the-art dental unit.
Not surprisingly, XO FLOW was recently rewarded with no less than two Red Dot design awards in the categories “Innovative Products” and “Medical Devices and Technology” in competition with 60 nations from across the world.
Find out more about XO FLOW here.
Or watch the filmed Podium Talk from IDS 2021 with Kim Sørensen in conversation with Christian Coachman, Digital Smile Design (DSD) about ‘Design-thinking, Appeal and Patient Comfort’ here.