It is well documented that health care reimbursement is moving away from pay-for-service and toward pay for efficiency, quality, and improvement in outcomes. There is tremendous pressure to lower hospital readmission rates. Can medical device design add value within this new paradigm?
Absolutely. A medical device that is well-designed will be easy to use. It will be intuitive and will perform its function efficiently. When that is the case, the risks of misuse/mistakes are drastically reduced. In surgical devices, risk of infection goes down. For diagnostic instruments, accuracy of diagnosis goes up. For drug delivery devices used by patients in their homes, compliance increases. A well-designed device increases the user’s confidence. It empowers them. A poorly designed device that is confusing to operate makes them feel stupid.
Effective design requires thorough consideration of a host of factors, based on user research that allows the designer to understand users’ true needs. Starting design efforts from that base will increase the chances that your device will fulfill the requirements of the new health care reimbursement paradigm.