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‘Just around the Vend’ – Human Factors and Usability of Vending Machines

As a human factors and usability consultant I talk about usability a lot, unfortunately – but also understandably – most people do not share my enthusiasm; that is, until I apply it to something they find absolutely infuriating. This can range from tin openers to a local council website, whatever it may be it puts the problem in context. There’s one particular product that I find most people have a problem with, a product that irritates me so much that I will join in any conversation involving it. Admittedly there aren’t very many of these conversations, but they’re almost always focused on the criticism of usability; let’s see if you agree.

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How much Human Factors Usability is needed to prove a device is safe, effective and usable?

In my career I have been lucky enough to gain varying perspectives on the role of usability during the development of medical devices. I’ve worked as part of a design team with a responsibility for concept generation, preliminary research and detailed design. I’ve also worked as part of a human factors team with a broader remit for integrating human factors process across an organisation. One thing experience has taught me is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to usability work.

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Human Factors and Anaesthetic Practice: Why the Equipment Makes a Difference

Ergonomics and Human Factors practice are inherently broad and multi-disciplinary, but one thing that unites us all is a focus on design.

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Human Factors – more than simulated use

Advances in medical technology are opening up new possibilities within the health care domain.

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Psychology of packaging and water consumption

A study published in the International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management pointed out that the visual appearance of packaging is the most important indicator of quality and can help customers build trust towards the brand and even give it a try, despite never having heard of it before.

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How human-centred is space travel?

Exactly 50 years ago on this day, Neil Armstrong, Edwin Eugene (Buzz) Aldrin and Michael Collins embarked on the Apollo 11 spacecraft mission headed to the Moon

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Dialogue on beta testing at the Human Factors for Medical Devices workshop

Dr Chris Vincent, Human Factors & Ergonomics Principal at PDD, joined the conversation on beta testing at the Human Factors for Medical Devices workshop which took place at the Museum of London earlier this June.

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Human-Centered Design tames big data into information that your business can use

While we are all conscious that big data will be transforming our businesses and even our way of life, the best use and how to translate all of that data is not always immediately evident. Human-Centered Design helps find the most meaningful ways to translate big data into information that your business can use to the benefit of your organisation.

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Human Factors: The importance of exposure to the end user

When previously working as a design engineer for a medical device manufacturer I was not always exposed to the end user of the device I was developing. Due to the pressure on resources, time required to arrange testing or the complexity of negotiating hospital access this activity was frequently put on hold.

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Tips on how to approach medical device usability in China

What happens when usability research is conducted abroad? A team from PDD have been working closely with international manufacturing organisations to develop medical devices for the Chinese inpatient market. This means that usability research has been conducted in Chinese and reported in English. This blog explores the benefit that usability research provides when implemented across international teams and how to overcome issues that may be encountered along the way. It amalgamates our insights taken from a number of usability projects conducted in China.

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The Role of Human-Centred Design in Healthcare Reform and Transformation

All too often our health care is taken for granted, and we assume it will always be available to serve our community’s needs. The question is “How healthy are our healthcare facilities to handle the diversity of services and to produce healthy outcomes for an expansive and unprecedented market of six (6) living generations – all distinctively different with a diverse set of needs and priorities?”

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Human error or use error…Make the switch!

FMEAs (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis) are a common tool used in industry by device manufacturers to help members of R&D think of risk mitigation strategies to embed within their process whilst they are in the product development stages. FMEAs traditionally focus on system/component failures that can affect the operation of a device whilst UFMEAs (User Failures Modes and Effects Analysis) are intended to help members of R&D to focus on use-related errors. The term ‘Use Error’ has recently been introduced to replace the commonly used terms ‘Human Error’ and ‘User Error’, after the need to change the term was prompted by a high number of manufacturers commonly attributing errors to the users as opposed to investing in fixing error-prone device design.

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Medical Device Usability Engineering, a first-hand perspective

I’ve only been at PDD a matter of months as a Human Factors and Usability consultant, but to say that my feet have barely touched the ground, would be an understatement. I’ve travelled to four different countries, and observed 100 participants. In this article, I take a look at why going into the field is so important in identifying device development opportunities…

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Medical Device Usability

Last week Polly Shelton, one of PDD’s Human Sciences consultants, spoke at theLEG (London Ergonomics Group) and UKUPA (Usability Professionals’ Association) event at UCL’s Interaction Centre.

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The link between ethnographic research, human factors engineering and risk management in injection device development

Last week I spoke at the Injectable Drug Delivery International Conference on the essential link between ethnographic research, human factors engineering and risk management in injection device development, a subject close to my heart. We come across many medical companies that engage in ‘over the fence R&D’, a process that can, and does, lead to gaps in device development.

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PDD features in the New Design Magazine Yearbook 2020

Dr Chris Vincent, Principal – Human Factors & Ergonomics at PDD, discusses the importance of designing user-friendly medical devices, and the need for customised solutions within the healthcare environment.

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Learning from real world use – complementing medical device experience databases through analysis of social media

An extract taken from Chris Vincent’s knowledge piece that discusses the growing use of digital platforms such as social media to understand how people really use medical products.

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Healthcare Innovation – Managing Risk in a Remote World

As medical innovators we all want to support the design of safe and usable medical devices. Yet, in a healthcare environment that is going through fast, unprecedented change, where standard tools and processes are harder to apply, that aim is not without challenge.

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The impact of light on healthcare operations

This article explores the impact that environmental factors such as light have on healthcare and considers how they can be optimised to support patient and staff well-being.

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Aqualisa Q™ – Smart Digital Mixer Showers

Digital shower offers a smart personalised showering experience

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