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Medical Device Usability and Cognitive Biases

Medical device usability is a top concern in medical design. There have been numerous studies that point to poor usability as contributing to medical errors. To design usability into medical devices, designers need to be aware of the many ways users (and they themselves) are influenced by biases in their thinking. I came across this [...]

By |device design|

What’s Ahead for 2019

We’re about to go into a new year. With that come predictions about what the year ahead will bring. From what I’ve been seeing, here are the areas that will be big in 2019: Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI has been in the news for a number of years now. 2019 could see the technology reach [...]

By |future trends|

Medical Device Design and Usability

Usability is one of the most important aspects of medical device design. This paper from authors at the University of Cambridge cites a number of studies that have shown that a significant percentage of medical errors could be prevented if more attention had been paid in the design phase to the device’s usability. How easy a [...]

By |device design|

Medical Devices to Reduce Pain

Because of the opioid addiction epidemic in the US, there has been a push this year to encourage the development of non-addictive methods of reducing chronic and acute pain. SPR Therapeutics has an FDA-cleared device that does that. The SprintPNS (peripheral nerve stimulation) device consists of an electrical lead that is guided to its placement [...]

By |device design, future trends|

Design Helps the Bottom Line

Want to increase revenues by 32% and increase returns to shareholders by 56%? According to a study by McKinsey & Company, that is what you can achieve by investing in design. To come up with those measures, McKinsey analyzed 2 million pieces of financial data and 100,000 actions that companies took to deliberately make design [...]

By |device design|

Attack of the Microbots

Last week I wrote about research being done at Harvard to develop micro-scale soft robots. Well, just down the street from Harvard, MIT is working to develop robots that are the size of a single cell. But more than an advancement in robotics, the MIT effort is being touted as a breakthrough method of manufacturing [...]

By |future trends|

Micro-scale Soft Robots

Medical robotics has been focused mainly on large, sophisticated systems that make surgery more efficient. Now we are seeing developments in tiny, soft robotic devices that could move around inside the body to perform various medically related tasks, from delivering drugs to a precisely targeted area to actually performing surgery. For example, Harvard’s Wyss institute [...]

By |future trends|

The Ears Have It

Wearable devices have grown into a substantial consumer market. Yet their usefulness has not lived up to their hype. Most people give them up after about six months. No one has come up with functionality that is compelling enough to foster continued use of wearable devices. Once their novelty wears off, their use is abandoned. [...]

By |future trends|

Touchscreens and Medical Devices

Touchscreens are becoming the predominant means of controlling devices of all kinds, including medical devices. It seems that more and more products are abandoning traditional hardware controls – push buttons, switches, sliders, knobs, etc. – for touchscreens. But current touchscreens have a serious drawback that makes them problematic to use and often frustrates the user. [...]

By |device design|

User Centered Design

Ease of use is a critical aspect of medical device design. A device that can be operated intuitively is a safer device – chances of use error are significantly reduced. A device that is simple to operate reduces the cognitive load of the user, allowing them to concentrate on the task, not on the device. [...]

By |device design|