riess-fernandes profile photo

Hi, I'm Riess.
I'm a driven product designer with a focus on fem-tech and medical design. I enjoy solving real-world problems through a human-centred and empathetic approach.

Final Year Project

Nia – Your Hysterectomy Recovery Companion

1 in 5 women will undergo a hysterectomy at some point in their lives.

Nia is designed to support women in their recovery after hysterectomy surgery.

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus. It can be performed for various medical reasons, including uterine fibroids, endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, or cancer. After a hysterectomy, women often experience pain, fatigue, and some swelling. Recovery involves managing these symptoms with medication, rest, and gradual resumption of activities, while monitoring for any signs of complications and attending follow-up appointments with their healthcare provider.

Many women face a lack of adequate support during their recovery from a hysterectomy, often struggling with pain, fatigue, and emotional distress without sufficient guidance or resources.

Soothing Relief

Nia offers pain relief by using cryotherapy (cooling), and low-level light therapy (photo biomodulation) directly at the incision site.

Cooling offers immediate relief by alleviating pain and preventing swelling, an important consideration as Doctors caution against using heat, a common mistake often made by women.

Low-light therapy for incisions promotes faster healing, reduces pain, and minimises inflammation by stimulating cellular repair and reducing swelling.

Illuminate your Recovery.

Nia utilises near-infrared, red, and blue light, each penetrating the skin at varying depths to facilitate healing and enhance cellular recovery.

Enabling an Empowered Recovery.

Nia comes with a personalised application designed to offer users tailored information about their individual health journey. It provides specific details about their surgery and empowers women with resources to take control of their recovery process.

Inside Nia

Cooling system featuring a thermoelectric cooler, hydrogel ring, and silicone contact for surface cooling.

Internal aluminium hinge structure designed to flex and conform to the curvature of women’s abdomens.
Intended use case.

Project Development

Sketching – Ideation and Development
Prototyping – Silicone Moulding Exploration
Prototyping – Electronics, Hinging Mechanism and Casing
User Testing – Understanding the Pain Points

Progress Tracking Vaginal Dilator

Vaginismus is a condition causing involuntary muscle contractions in the pelvic floor, resulting in pain or difficulty with vaginal penetration.

This product offers a gentle, long-term solution for women to condition their pelvic floor using a range of dilator sizes, incorporating body-safe silicone, intravaginal pressure sensors, and a bedside docking station for intelligent and empathetic progress tracking.

Smart and easy attachment.

More About Me…

Self-Led Research Project – Exploring the Experience of Women in the UK Design Industry
Lockdown Project – Homemade Clay Pizza Oven.
Personal Interest – Jewellery Design
Design Week – Triton Sustainable Electric Shower


Ethnic Diversity Excellence Scholarship at Kinneir Dufort – Bristol 2023/24

Diploma of Professional Studies – 2023/24

Work Experience

Design Intern at Aileron Design – Bristol 2022/23

Design Research Intern at We are Human – Bristol 2023

Design Intern at Native Design – London 2023.