An effective product development process starts by understanding what users want. Not only what their reasons are for choosing one product over another, but also what attributes would make the product easy for them to use. In medical device design, defining user needs is the basis for all design activity going forward. U.S. Federal Regulations, in fact, require that user needs and intended device uses be defined and used as the basis for how the design is developed. The final product must be tested against those needs and intended uses to determine whether the product has been designed to be effective for its intended use. Considering those factors, anything that helps us understand users’ choices should help us design better medical products.
We are experiencing rapid technological change in many areas that will have an effect on the practice of medicine. Societal changes are also taking place that will impact how health care is delivered in the future. As our knowledge grows, technological advances are speeding up geometrically. This paper discusses 28 areas that will have the most significance for medicine and for the requirements of medical devices and products.
There exists an opportunity for companies to differentiate their laboratory instrumentation products by employing carefully thought-out design. Design is important not simply because it influences the emotional response that is core to decision making. Design can also enhance usability, make service and maintenance easier, and provide the visual elements that communicate a trusted brand.
Medical product design has a lot to do with embodying devices with characteristics that make them easy to understand and to use. To do this effectively, designers must understand perception and cognition: how we sense the world, how those sensations are interpreted by our brains and how we think about what it is we perceive.
Color is one of the most important things in our lives. Colors affect us emotionally and psychologically, often to a degree that we are not even aware of. I would guess that almost everyone has a favorite color. A Technical Note on Color There are many different models for describing and specifying color. This [...]
Forma Medical Device Design is engaged in developing products. Why are we offering this treatise on behavior change? One of the foundations of our product development process involves defining where the true problem lies – in uncovering root causes. Without an understanding of the true problem, any designed solution will be ineffective. One root cause of the high cost of health care in the U.S. is that care isn’t given until a health problem has arisen. Many are beginning to recognize that taking measures to prevent disease is much less expensive than treating it once it has occurred. To a great extent, preventing disease is aided by living a healthy lifestyle. Breaking unhealthy habits requires behavior change.
The delivery of health care is evolving to take into account the entire patient experience. Medical products and devices have a significant impact on that experience. Their colors can be calming and restorative, or they can be active and energizing. Further, many medical products that were once used exclusively in controlled care settings are now being used in the home. In the home environment, medical products require aesthetics more in line with consumer products. In appealing to consumers, color has great importance.