3 critical starting points for medical device design usability research

The future of healthcare lies with the development of devices with designs centered on the safety, needs, desires and challenges of their users. [Photo courtesy of the FDA]

Medical device usability research and human factors engineering starts with device users, the use environment and user interfaces.

Gregory Montalbano, MIDI Medical Product Development

Designing a medical device is not a lighthearted or straightforward task. Every design choice during the development process can influence how the device is used, whether it is effective and if it has the potential to cause its user or intended patient harm.

The vast majority of medical device failures stem from use errors. While this may lead some to believe that the blame lies on the user, the fact is that use errors are frequently the result of unintuitive device design choices.

With this in mind, the FDA and its supporting standards organ…

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