Pearson Matthews - Innovation Consultants
Why We Are Leaders

While many design agencies work in healthcare,their involvement is often little more than skin-deep. By contrast, we demonstrate both breadth of experience but also depth of knowledge in a number of specialties.

Several of our projects are the result of five year development programmes; taking a raw technology and developing it through an entire innovation journey to market launch. We think we are justified in claiming this makes us an industry leader, but you decide for yourself.

Our innovations

This selection of projects are all genuine innovations, new ideas or technologies, taken successfully to market.



If you have ever bought a pregnancy test there is a 70% chance it will be this one you bought.

We began working with this client in 1987 and still work with them 20 years later.

Three generations of product have been developed, making the company world leader in this market. It is a seminal product with thousands of imitators worldwide. Yet when you create something good there is little reason to change it.

Despite its simplicity and ease-of-use it is a remarkably complex device where chemistry meets hydrodynamics and manufacturing tolerances.

Full case study



Persona has turned out to be one of the most influential products of the last decade showing how diagnostics can be used to change peoples lives.

Persona is the ultimate breakthrough product. It used new technology to address a new market and needed new manufacturing methods. It allowed Pearson Matthews to hone the ways of using design as an R&D tool in order to unravel a mess of conflicting requirements.

The true testament to this remarkable product is that it could have failed 1000 times but the process we evolved with Unipath allowed us to predict and overcome hurdles and ultimately get the product on the market successfully.

Go see it in your local chemist, it still looks fresh yet has not changed at all since launch 10 years ago.

Full case study



Clevername, a new way to package and present the humble sticking plaster, is a twist on a product that has changed little in over 100 years.

Clevername was created by Pearson Matthews as an entry yo a competition looking for the best inclusive design. We have strong links to the issues of an ageing population and inclusivity, or "Design for All" or "Universal Design" as it is sometimes called.

Our rationale behind Clevername is that if you cut one hand you in effect become disabled, unable to use both hands necessary to open current packaging. Clevername showed that with minimal change to manufacture it was possible to remove and position the plaster with one hand. Needlessly to say the entry won, we patented the idea and are currently in negotiations with a major US brand.

We believe it took a special kind of thinking to be able to see to the heart of such a problem and produce such a beautifully simple design.

Full case study



Ideasun are a young start up company who approached us with an idea for a children´s reading aid that could be produced at low costs with the support of venture capital.

To bring this concept to reality problems of material, ergonomics and product semantics had to be overcome. It needed to be a friendly, yet highly functional device for both adults and children.

Wordwiz was the result; a two pronged, candy-coloured plastic component that encouraged reading direction and helped syllable separation.

It has become increasingly popular and has proven once again that design can solve complex problems with a simple product.

Full case study

Expertise, knowledge and partners

Frequently projects require us to interact with experts from many fields including often clinicians, scientists and academics.

We realised early on that experts want to talk to experts and in order to be able to understand and contribute effectively to complex problems, a threshold of knowledge was needed.

While acquiring this knowledge has required huge effort and learning, it is now embedded in Pearson Matthews and the team, and is there for you to tap into.

Learning from the Experts

Learning from the experts

We have sat in on live spine surgery; had our hands inside cadavers; investigated the hydroynamics of women weeing and built machines to replicate it; explored the insides of beehives; built realistic rubber colons; visited electronics manufacturers above the Arctic Circle; handled cow hearts; investigated tissue ablation on chicken breasts; built dummy knee cavities; visited hundreds of factories around the world and dealt with clients from Russia, the Middle East, the US, China, Japan, the Nordic region, and of course the UK.

We think this is the experience that makes our offer special. It has meant learning the language of the client so to allow us to communicate efficiently and without compromise.

Medical Technologies

Medical technologies

Prospective clients often ask if we have experience in their sector. Say no, and they assume you won´t understand their need, say yes, and they worry about with whom you have work. Sometimes you just can´t win!

Our view of this dichotomy is that while having little specific experience of many of these projects before commencing work on them, our broad knowledge, built up over years in the business, equips us with the skills to pick up subtleties extremely quickly.

There are usually more similarities than differences between sectors; these are not hard to grasp and a joy to learn. It is the very diversity of experience built up over the decades that allows us to cross-fertilise and see projects with fresh eyes.

Our Partners

Our partners

We have forged strong relationships with the movers and shakers in many sectors along the way, the outcome of which is a better understanding of what is happening in the UK and around the world. Through our partners we gain expert insight on which political pressures are being bought to bear and what sources of funding are worth approaching, which importantly, we can then translate into how this may affect your strategy or project plans.

Amongst others, we work closely with the R&D section of the Department of Health, with ISIS Innovation, IPO Group, MATCH, APHG, APGDI, NHS Innovations, Medical Futures, EPSRC, MRC, Sports Council, Design Council, Pure Insight, SEHTA, KTNs, DBA, RSA, Diagnox, HTD grants, Wellcome Trust, UK universities and more.

Mike Pearson

Mike Pearson

BSc (Mech Eng) MDesRCA FCSD

Mike Pearson followed an engineering apprenticeship at British Leyland Truck and Bus division in Lancashire in the 1970´s with a degree in Engineering and then a postgraduate degree in Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art. Having won the Braun Prize for his final year project, he left the RCA to study the work of the architect, Renzo Piano.

Mike´s first partnership, with Adrian Stokes, centred on work for Loctite and Gordon Russell Furniture. Following this in 1983 Pearson Design was born. Work in the medical sector began in 1987, with "Persona" for Unipath - the first of 15 projects over nearly 20 years. Between 1995 and 2000, Ed Matthews joined to form the partnership Pearson Matthews becoming a Limited company in 2001.

Mike has for many years spoken at industry events as well as regularly having articles published in the trade press. He is now an external examiner for the RCA and the BSc (Hons) Engineering Product Design course at London South Bank University.

Ken Sadler

Ken Sadler


Ken Sadler graduated from the Royal College of Art with a First Class Honours Masters Degree in Industrial Design (Engineering) and the University of Greenwich with an Honours Degree in Architecture. Other studies included Metallurgy at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine and Art, Design and Architecture in Italy on an RCA Travelling Scholarship.

He founded Sadler Associates in 1973 as a multidisciplinary design practice and secured several design awards for effective value added and commercially focused work. In 2006 Sadler Associates Product Design practice merged with Pearson Matthews to build on the consumer, medical and scientific product design work of both companies. Ken is now aDirector of Pearson Matthews and Principal of Sadler Associates Architects.

Ken has a strong personal commitment to design education exemplified by his supervision of student placements, teaching, being a BA and MA external examiner, supervising PhD´s and working with the Design Council. He is registered with the Architects´ Registration Board, is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers.

In his role as a governor of the University College, Ken serves on the Nominations Committee.

Jim Dawton

Jim Dawton
Managing Director

BA(Hons) Design for Industry, FRSA

Jim Dawton joined Pearson Matthews in 2004, continuing a career that has involved working for many of London´s foremost design consultancies including Roberts Weaver, BIB, Tangerine, Therefore and Seymour Powell.

He has designed many successful consumer products for a wide range of international brands from the exclusive hi-fi manufacturer Linn Products to the mass-market leader Tefal. Since joining Pearson Matthews he has applied his expertise to the technically-focused medical device industry, creating a holistic offer that combines strategic direction and product-centric brand definition with the demands of delivering devices into a highly regulated and competitive market.

Jim sits on the Advisory Board of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Design and Innovation, and is a member of the Associate Parliamentary Health Group. He regularly gives talks and lectures to a wide range of international design audiences and academic institutions, as well as partnering research programmes with universities such as Newcastle, Nottingham, Brunel, Imperial and the Helen Hamlyn Centre at the Royal College of Art. Jim studied Industrial Design at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Polytechnic, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

The team

Pearson Matthews is made up of a diverse range of skills and people with experience right across the industry. We have everything from mechanical engineers to skilled model makers; product and furniture designers to design and branding strategists; 3D CAD experts, mentors on design and industry to the Chinese Government, and experts in manufacturing and toolmaking.

Pearson Matthews includes people who have highly skilled specialisms to those who are all-rounders, turning their hand to any challenge and excelling to extremely high levels. The team has experience within the healthcare, medical, and consumer product sector as well as in-depth knowledge of design of products and services for both the public and private sector.