Usability and user experience linked to developing medical devices.
Usability is a well-established part of product design, more and more also within medical devices. This means special consideration for ease of use and its key values: efficiency, effectivity and satisfaction. Especially for medical devices the factor of safety has to be added. Every second safety-related incident within patient treatment leads back to usage mistakes.
Medical devices are complex technical products using newest technologies and often containing as many features as possible. This can cause problems within the operating and interaction processes. In consumer electronics, operation errors can cause a reduced user experience, but within medical devices the consequences can lead to death. In order to increase safety and ease of use the development process should be human centered. But this implies more than introducing some usability checklists. User field studies, prototype tests in the development process and learnings from customer feedback are future proving investments. External service providers like designaffairs can help to manage the requirements of this approach considering global markets, complex user groups and steady cost pressure.
The development process of medical devices has changed in the last few years. The know-how based design of technical modules is still the core of the construction process. But human centered design contains more effort for all: the safe, user-centered treatment of the patient as well as the best possible user experience (UX) of all involved users. This will result in satisfied patients, users, developers and manufacturers.
In the presentation the ambivalence between efficiency, user needs and safety will be discussed and the potential of combining product styling and interaction design will be introduced. Hence, examples of good and bad usability will be shown to demonstrate the effects within medical devices. Considering these insights, implications for human centered design will be transferred. Also examples of medical devices will be presented, of which the design-consulting agency designaffairs supported their development significantly. And mostly the importance of human centering in the construction process of medical devices will be highlighted.
Dr. Jens Mühlstedt is Senior Project Manager at designaffairs GmbH focusing on Interface Experience Engineering. After studying Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University Chemnitz he worked as research assistant at the Department of Human Factors and Innovation Management. During this time he created and finished his distinguished doctoral thesis about digital human models, virtual ergonomics and measuring the strain caused by movements. In 2014 he joined designaffairs to support the team in the fields of project management, UX and human-machine interaction. Therefore he contributes his expertise in Innovation and Usability Engineering, Work Environment, Lighting and Color as well as Human Factors and Ergonomics.
Gerd Helmreich, born in 1956, studied Industrial Design at the University of Wuppertal, Germany. After finishing his diploma in 1978 he started his career at Sedus Stoll as industrial designer in the area of office furniture. Since 1985, Gerd Helmreich was the responsible in-house designer at Siemens AG in the sectors of Medical and Industry. In 1997, the design department has been separated from the Siemens AG to form the independent sub-company designafairs. Gerd Helmreich became studio director in Erlangen, held a lectureship at the University of the Arts Berlin and was assigned responsible for various projects at University of Pforzheim. Gerd Helmreich also worked as assistant professor in the master degrees at Coburg University, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria Wels and Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm. Since 2007 Gerd Helmreich is one of the four new owners and managing directors of designaffairs focusing on the fields of Medical and Industry.