human factors Archives | PDD

Tag: human factors

Telehealth and Patient Autonomy

How can telehealth enable patient autonomy?

A snapshot view of future opportunities

Over the past two years, telehealth has seen exponential growth, accelerated by the pandemic and a need to keep people safe and healthy in their homes. Whilst the use of digital information and communication technology to access healthcare services remotely was something we were already seeing, the pandemic turned this into a necessity, not a luxury; and did so practically overnight.

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Grounded in reality – the true value of Human-Centred Research

When was the last time you pulled when it said ‘push’?

Every day, we are surrounded by products and services that somehow, don’t work as we expect them to. Whether it is an ‘impossible-to-follow’ set of instructions or the ‘push’ sign on a handle that clearly invites you to pull, people are constantly forced to develop workarounds to compensate for poor design.

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The Human Value of Technology

Over the last year, connected technologies have become even more prevalent in healthcare. At a time when visiting a hospital has become increasingly difficult for patients, apps and software-enabled devices have become useful tools to facilitate access to services and self-care.

In this article, Marlies Havenith – Senior Consultant – Human Factors & Usability at PDD – explains why, as connectivity continues to permeate healthcare environments, keeping users at the centre is now more imperative than ever. 

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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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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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Human Factors and Ergonomics: A discussion at the IEA 2018

We are pleased to announce that Dr Chris Vincent, Principal – Human Factors & Ergonomics at PDD will be delivering a speech at the International Ergonomics Association (IEA) in Florence, Italy on the 28th of August.

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Human factors for digital health

Human Factors and Ergonomics contribute towards Digital Health by providing an understanding of the healthcare system, making sure we get the right tool for the job and making sure that the tool fits and fit for purpose.

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Management of evaluations: Patients with ‘sensitive’ medical conditions

Conducting any kind of patient-centric evaluation can present numerous challenges; preparing for and conducting evaluation sessions with patients suffering from sensitive and changeable conditions (such as Alzheimer’s) can present even more complex challenges, as we found out on a study we conducted in the past year.

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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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“Measuring usability”: The siren song of quantitative reasoning

How do you measure usability? How do you really measure the efficiency of interface characteristics and user satisfaction in a way that can feed opportunities to develop and innovate? As a usability consultant, it is not that uncommon to be asked to evaluate usability. Some would even go so far as to say it comes with the territory.

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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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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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‘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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Brainsex – What do you think?

A recent trip to an evening of short-talks hosted by The Future Laboratory at the suggestion of a colleague resulted in me being utterly transfixed for six minutes by Dr Anne Moir. The subject? Brainsex!

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Planes to Pains: Human factors taking off in healthcare

When I graduated with a BSc in Ergonomics (Human Factors Design) in 2011, it was clear that the subject is neither widely known nor greatly recognised, in fact I am constantly corrected that I did Economics at University. However, it was also apparent that certain industries placed great value in the area I had studied for three years; these were mainly energy, rail, aviation and defence – all big industries with a lot to lose if something were to go catastrophically wrong. It is therefore baffling to think the same attention to human factors isn’t apparent in healthcare.

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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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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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