PDD has collaborated with SSG, a leader in smart healthcare communications, to develop Acelo, an innovative nurse call system that supports healthcare professionals and improves the patient experience in hospitals and clinical settings.
We are delighted to announce that Olav’s Chefmesser has won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award as an outstanding example of Product Design. Das Chefmesser, an innovative Chef Knife, is the latest in a series of collaborations between PDD and Olav – a visionary German startup that is transforming the market for cookware in Europe and beyond.
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.
Advances in medical technology are opening up new possibilities within the health care domain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…