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Surgical Innovation – Pioneering doctors and devices

Surgery is a fascinating branch of medicine; rooted in science, yet still very much a craft and (whether we like it or not as a patient) frequently dependent on the skills of improvisation by the surgeon and their team. Surgery has come a long way since its early days but the pace of innovation has anything but slowed down. On the contrary, new technologies are creating new possibilities to improve safety and efficacy of procedures, and cost pressures are creating an imperative to achieve more with less.

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Is safety regulation stopping us from designing easy-to-use medical devices?

Whilst perusing the web to stay abreast of current affairs in the medical device usability world, I came across an interesting topic with regards to the regulated and unregulated components of usability work in the sector. We have on the one hand the regulatory requirement to develop devices that are safe and effective, free from potentially harmful use errors. Whilst on the other hand, we have the desire to create great user and patient experiences through devices that are appealing and easy-to-use. However, the tension between the two components can mean that we, as usability practitioners, get so distracted with regulatory issues that other characteristics of usability become neglected within the device user interface.

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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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Using immersion in the hospital environment to identify innovation opportunities

A global medical device company recently approached PDD with a request to identify product innovation opportunities*. Our human-centred approach for such projects typically involves full immersion in the environment of the user and this project was no different. In this post, I will share some of my experiences of working in the hospital environment, the techniques used, and just generally what I enjoyed from my time in the field.

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