Just What the Surgeon Wants

Fingertip Manœuvrability and Perfect Balance


We’ve all experienced an everyday product at some time that had great technology and a stylish design but was totally impractical to use. A designer coffee pot that spills its contents all round the cup or a mobile phone with such tiny keys that you can’t help pressing two at once. If instruments for medical professionals were designed with so little regard for practical application, they’d have no chance of surviving on the market. That’s why user-oriented development of new microscopes has a long tradition at Leica Microsystems. The Leica M525 F20, which is mainly used in ENT and neurosurgery, is an example of successful translation of users’ requirements into an innovative product.

Figure: Finger-light movement without vibration to easily achieve the most challenging views.

"With the user, for the user" – this was the motto of Ernst Leitz I when he introduced industrial production in the company over 150 years ago. A motto that explains the success of Leica Microsystems’ products now more than ever. Before ideas are converted into an innovative product nowadays, in-depth consultations are held with future users. For the new Leica M525 F20 surgical microscope, face-to-face interviews were conducted with customers in hospitals and practices, and questionnaires were distributed at medical congresses.

Comments of the surgeons while testing the prototype:

"Fantastic optical quality, 3D and depth perception."

"The movement of the optics carrier is without any doubt better than any other microscope I have seen."

"The motorised balancing is well appreciated by all of my operation team."

"It’s fabulous to set all parameters including light and video functions on the hand switch – very user friendly."

An idea for a product is like a raw diamond

The analysis showed that easy handling and smooth manoeuvrability were among surgeons’ top priorities. Further important criteria in their view were high image quality, safe illumination and a compact design. At first, these wishes seem rather general – in fact, you’d think they’d be taken for granted for a surgical microscope. However, the requirements mentioned in the customer survey were exactly geared to the needs of ENT and neurosurgeons in the technical development of the Leica M525 F20.

"The idea for a product is like a raw diamond at first. The answers of our customers help us to clearly cut the facets", product manager Andreas Tedde describes the process. "Also, our own sales associates were involved during the entire development process and gave us equally valuable feedback."

Enthusiastic test users

One of the most exciting phases began when the prototype had to pass the acid test in live operations in various hospitals and doctors’ practices. This clinical evaluation took several weeks and enabled the finishing touches to be put to the product. The positive feedback of the test users already confirmed that surgeons’ needs have been excellently considered in the new Leica M525 F20.

Ease of movement & brilliant optics

The new microscope combines the brilliant optics of Leica OptiChrome™ technology with finger-light movement and is thus the perfect answer from ­Leica Microsystems to the surgeon’s needs. The Leica M525 F20 is finger-light to move and stays perfectly balanced over the complete range of movement, thus making it possible to guide the microscope securely, even with just the eyes and nose. The effortless handling ensures fatigue-free, time-saving surgery.

Best view & safer illumination

A crisp image and a large depth of field allow the surgeon to see more details. The surgeon does not have to refocus frequently, and this is especially important when working in narrow and deep cavities. BrightCare™ and AutoIris™ technology ensure high-quality as well as safer illumination and give enough light for the deepest operative sites while providing more patient safety.

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