Esaote Appleprobe

Ergonomic innovation

“We have designed a number of ultrasound probes over the years, each time trying to make them more comfortable and more ergonomic” says Fabio Rezzonico.

“Yet something more drastic needed to be done. The design needs to address the pinching and pushing associated with transducer use by sonographers and alleviate the stress put on the sonographer when they are required to grasp the probe and apply pressure with it onto the patient. The main goal is to improve the well being and safety of the sonographer, specifically their wrists, elbows and shoulders.

After looking into the various changes that could be made, Rezzonico decided that the way the probe is held could be re-designed. “The pen grip was the accepted way to hold and design the probes, yet it causes stress on the hand and wrist. We thought we could find a new way to hold the probe using a more natural grip.” 




Design, Engineering, Ergonomy Study



Appleprobe grip

Through various studies, mock-ups and models Rezzonico Design’s team tested sonographers and doctors alike to best understand what kind of grip would be comfortable and natural for the hand and wrist and allow the small adjustments necessary for the ultrasound exam. “That is how we came up with the Appleprobe and the palm grip.

The palm grip is new to probe handling, yet very intuitive.” The palm grip is achieved by holding the cord end between the index and middle fingers and cupping the probe with the palm of the hand. “This allows for the user to move the fingers and wrist during an exam without compromising the ultrasound image. The pressure needed to create the untrasound image could come from the upper arm and elbow, this would alleviate the pressure on the wrist.

By having two different grips for one probe, the user can switch from one grip to another, reducing the stress created by the constant repetition of the traditional pincer grip. We wanted to design a probe that allowed the user to grip both ways,” says Rezzonico. 

Allowing for both grips gives the user the power to decide how to hold the probe.

“The palm grip aligns the wrist and the hand and allows the user to avoid the pressure associated with the pinching in the pincer grip. We wanted to give the user this choice to switch from one grip to another, increasing the range of movement and limiting the time spent in one single grip,” explains Rezzonico. The palm grip has been used now by doctors and sonographers, and Rezzonico explains that the feedback is positive. “Often we hear the sonographers say, ‘why weren’t we using this kind of grip all along,’ it is so natural and comfortable, sometimes something innovative is very instinctive.”

Appleprobe ergonomy

We believe that with the Appleprobe we have changed the way transducers are held, creating a new way to grip the probe and respecting the traditional grip of the probe that so many have become accustomed to. It is our hope that the Appleprobe will better the lives of sonographers making their work less painful and allow them to focus on their patients.

 Use position

only one force is used: push

Relax position

the probe rests between the fingers