Observations

The advantages of having an in-house Development Centre (DC)

One of the unique things about PDD is that its London studio has its own in-house DC, which provides our clients and PDD designers and engineers with some massive advantages over competitors.

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CES 2017 highlights growing concerns over global air pollution and its associated health impact

With more than 80% of people living in urban areas and air pollution a hot news topic, it was no great surprise to see that one of the biggest themes at CES this year was ‘air quality’.

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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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Virtual Reality (VR) in healthcare – focusing on the user need

Last Thursday I got the opportunity to learn about the latest and greatest in VR and its applications in healthcare, courtesy of Health Tech Women. Over the course of 2 hours, the Virtual Reality Breakfast event in London showed how VR really is no longer just about video gaming and is being used to transform healthcare across a range of therapy areas.

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How patient-centric is the pharma industry?

In this first post of a three-part series, I look at the state of patient-centricity in the pharma industry today. In recent times, the pharma industry has increasingly adopted the mantra of“patient-centricity” which aims to put the patient at the heart of the company’s operation. The reality, however, still looks very different. Many are quick […]

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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 future of 3D printing for medical applications: Additive manufacturing opportunities realised

The hype surrounding 3D printing has swelled substantially in the past few years, largely driven by accessible design platforms, customisation and distributed manufacturing. While aesthetic design applications can be fascinating in their own right, are all of the functional benefits of 3D printing technologies receiving the attention they deserve?

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Green, skinny and a bit spaced out – the future of homes

For the first time in history, more people live in cities than outside them. Rapid urbanisation, resource scarcity and key climatic changes are adding to the pressure on policy makers and those tasked with designing, planning and constructing urban environments. At the same time, a growing number of consumers are coming to demand and expect to live and work in spaces that are not just good for their health and happiness, but are also energy efficient and respectful of the environment.

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Something in the air

Fog. We’ve all been through it. Even by UK standards, the hazy cloud that recently hung over Britain is a bit unusual and, evidently, more than a bit disruptive. The visibility problems arising from fog make road and air travel more dangerous. However, even unusually heavy fog does not pose a danger to our health. It is only when fog combines with air pollutants to form smog that it can cause both short-term and long-term adverse effects on health. Short-term effects include upper respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis; long-term effects include cancer, lung and heart diseases.

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The promise of Eastern beauty

Continued global interest in East Asian skincare and beauty regimes has boosted the development of new products, and leading the way is South Korean cosmetics company, AmorePacific (named by Forbes business magazine as the world’s 28th most innovative company). The company’s Air Cushion technology has helped AmorePacific become South Korea’s top facial makeup brand. Since its launch in 2008, more than 50 million Air Cushion compacts have been sold, and in July this year AmorePacific signed a deal with Parfums Christian Dior to share the technology.

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Highlights from London Design Festival 2015: GEOMETRY RULES!

My favourite favourite things at this year’s London Design Festival (LDF) were the vivid and often in-your-face installations and products inspired by Memphis – the design movement founded in Milan, Italy in the early 1980s. Happily for me, designs channelling Memphis’s bold geometric forms, bright colours and hyperkinetic patterns were present at several of LDF’s venues.

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Beauty and Brains: Hi-tech skincare devices

Star Wars. You either love it or – like me – you’ve never watched it. (No, not even one of them. Yes, I know Star Wars is a classic – shame on me). I am aware, however, that Episode 7, the next instalment of the global sci-fi phenomenon, is due for release in December this year and a bunch of Star Wars-themed products will soon be coming to a store near you.

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Why we need better UI in patient-used medical devices

It’s no secret that our healthcare bill is increasing. Worldwide, healthcare spending is at a record high, and an expanding and aging population means this shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

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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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Feelgood super-sized cities

Congratulations go to Tokyo, 2015 winner of most liveable city as rated by Monocle magazine’s annual Quality of Life survey. Home to 38 million people, Tokyo is also the world’s largest urban area and qualifies for megacity status. Defined as a city with more than 10 million people, megacities are on the rise. According to the United Nations, there are currently 34 megacities in total, projected to increase to 41 by 2030.

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Human Factors: The art of asking a good question

In Human Factors the art of asking a good question that is non-leading yet to the point, simple yet scenario driven, open yet has boundaries to stop people going off on a tangent, whilst trying to get the user to answer as honestly as possible sounds like a breeze doesn’t it? Think again!

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Moody Technology – Tackling depression and anxiety to improve medication adherence

Last month, Walgreens, the largest U.S. pharmacy chain, launched its app for the Apple Watch. Walgreens’ is one of many apps designed to help address the costly and – in some cases – fatal issue of medication non adherence. Principally, the app is geared towards streamlining the process of refilling a prescription and also notifies patients to take their medications as prescribed.

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The colour of sweet: Using multisensory design to improve human experience

As someone who loves a good mash-up, I was keen to see (feel, hear, smell and taste) how Kitchen Theory’s collaborative gastronomic project fused the fields of gastronomy; food science, food culture, food history, multisensory flavour perception, and neurogastronomy into its first Multi-Sensory Gastronomy Seminar and networking event. The event brought together people interested in synaesthesia (“union of the senses”–a condition in which two or more of the senses are involuntarily and automatically joined together) and crossmodal interactions (how the brain integrates information across the different sensory modalities).

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‘Innovating for China’. Are western brands lagging behind?

Over the past few decades, Chinese consumers’ perception of international brands and products was that they were ‘the best quality and most reliable’. But, with home-grown brands providing more choice and improved reliability, western brands are losing market share as it’s become harder to win trust and revenue, even for well-established brands like Siemens.

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The future of food in your home

After tracking sociocultural and technology trends influencing and shaping the kitchen landscape over the past 10 years, we wanted to share with you some key insights and opportunity areas that will impact food futures.

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