The IDSA Medical Design Special Interest Section is presenting a series of four webinars on Healthcare Design and the User Experience. The series is a benefit for IDSA members, who can register for all four webinars for free! Nonmembers can sign up for $25 per webinar, or buy three sessions and get the fourth free. That's $75 for the entire series for nonmembers! Post your questions now for the experts, using #IDSAWebinar on Twitter @IDSA.
Lead Design Strategist
Once passive participants simply receiving care—patients today are taking on a greater responsibility in their healthcare decisions. As a result, it is more important than ever for solution providers to understand the emerging “health consumer” and the dynamics that influence their decisions. In this webinar, Eunji Park, lead design strategist for Karten Design, will ... Read More.
Industrial Design Manager
Whether inside the OR or within the walls of a design studio, being a designer in the medical space may be one of the toughest yet most rewarding jobs. Bob Worrell, founder of Worrell, Inc. and Nicole Parks, industrial design manager, will provide insights into the essential role Worrell’s industrial designers play during the medical device development process. They will cover topics including ... Read More.
|Mary Beth Privitera, PhD, FIDSA
HFE/Research, HS Design, Inc.
|Tor Alden, IDSA
HS Design, Inc.
Today’s medical device technology development has made great strides toward improving patient care through digital engagement; re-enabling primary care teams through virtual care; enabling patients to take more responsibility in their health data driven interfaces; and promoting productive disruption in diagnostic and therapeutic care.
Upfront strategy, upper management buy in, technical support, and ultimately the users must be involved. Disruptive changes in complex systems do not come easily and take time to embrace. Mary Beth Privitera, PhD, FIDSA, and Tor Alden, IDSA—both of HS Design—will challenge ... Read More.
Sean Hägen, IDSA
BlackHägen Design, Inc.
Task Force Chair Sean Hägen, IDSA, provides an overview of the IDSA Patient Safety Task Force and its multi-faceted strategic plan that maps out initiatives to promote the greater design community to enable healthcare service providers to minimize medical error or prevent adverse events impacting global healthcare. The scope of this mission extends beyond ... Read More.
Sounding Board: Designing Emotion into MedTech
By Sean Fenske, Editor | January 19, 2016
In the consumer space, a device that triggers an emotional response among users through its design is a trait of many successful technologies. The user develops a type of bond with the device as it fulfills an emotional need of sorts. This could be considered the greatest success in the design of a device as it ensures the user will remain loyal and is much less likely to seek out a competitive offering.
A great example of this type of emotional bond between a device and user can be seen among consumers of Apple products. While similar—or in some cases, even superior—offerings may be available, Apple has achieved an emotional bond with their customer base and it would take a significant disappointment to diminish that connection.
Conversely, in the medical device space, design can often be viewed as driven by functional requirements first. This approach can result in a device that doesn’t generate that same type of response or address an emotional need for a patient managing their health. The technology provides the necessary clinical solution, but that “attachment” to it does not exist beyond the user knowing they need it for a health purpose.
With more medical technology moving into the hands of the patients themselves, thinking about the emotional response a device might create has never been more important. Whether a drug delivery device, glucose monitor, rehabilitation product, or another technology that’s used directly by patients (often outside of a doctor’s office or hospital), establishing a connection with the user can be almost as important to a product’s success as its clinical efficacy. Developing a device that generates this type of emotional response, however, is not a concept with which many medical device makers are familiar. Further, they have no idea as to how to address this during early project development.
With this in mind, MPO reached out design and development firms that have experience in the medtech industry. They were asked about this topic and posed the following question, “How do you design emotion into a medical device?”
Sean Hägen, Principal, Director of Research & Synthesis, BlackHägen Design
In the medical device design and development world, clinical efficacy has understandably been priority one. This typically translates as a technology-driven design. The next priority is usability, which balances ease-of-use with use safety. So aesthetics, the realm of industrial design, has often been a low priority and even marginalized. However, as efficacy becomes the price of entry for competing in a market, commercial drivers focus more on usability and aesthetics. This is especially effective when industrial design is utilized early on for its user-experience capabilities.
It is not only important that the user feels an emotional connection with the product to be commercially competitive, but this connection can enhance usability and efficacy too. This is particularly evident when the user is the patient, a scenario that is becoming more common. For example, it is well understood that a patient will be more inclined to carry and use a device in public if the product does not draw attention to the user’s illness. In other words, the appropriate aesthetic is that of a consumer product, not a clinical device.
The “appropriate” aesthetic is not universal across all medical segments. Where a homecare device may be appropriately whimsical in style, a life-support device in the ICU should have different aesthetic characteristics like serious, high tech, and clean. This appropriate aesthetic delights the clinical user such that they feel their needs have been addressed elegantly while not intimidating the patient.
“Amazing, inspiring community of dedicated medical designers. Honored to learn from you today!” posted Stanford University School of Medicine’s Larry Chu, MD, after delivering the keynote at the premier, 2015 IDSA Medical Design Conference: The Usability Ecosystem 2.0, held Oct. 20-22 at the state-of-the-art Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS)(link is external) in Tampa, FL. Dr. Chu (@larrychu), an associate professor and a practicing anesthesiologist, passionately addressed the ever-increasing need for patient involvement in healthcare—a cause he champions as executive director of Stanford Medicine X (link is external). It was a presentation hailed as “phenomenal” by attendees.
Dr. Chu’s co-presenter, Michael Seres (@mjseres), appeared via internet from a hospital where he is undergoing treatment. The founder of the British med tech start up 11Health has been battling an incurable bowel condition since he was a child and underwent a bowel transplant in 2011. Seres took matters into his own hands and designed a digital ostomy sensor for patients with colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. The media has touted the new device will “transform lives.” Currently, Seres serves as Stanford Medicine X’s ePatient-in-Residence. “Thank you for allowing me to share my story,” posted Seres about his #IDSAMedical15 appearance.
An Experiential Symposium allowed dozens of attendees to don scrubs and experience the intense settings of emergency and operating rooms; robotic-assisted surgery; and an interventional cardiology simulation scenario at CAMLS. The workshops were led by Conference Chair MaryBeth Privitera, IDSA, of the University of Cincinnati and author of the new Contextual Inquiry for Medical Device Design (link is external); Sean Hägen, IDSA Board of Directors Section VP of BlackHägen Design; and Merrick Kossack of Intuitive Surgical.
Bryce Rutter, PhD, IDSA, of Metaphase Design, discussed The Hand: Five Human Factors of Medical Product Design. In a separate session, he shared Design on the Dignity of Living.
Speakers and topics included:
Austen Angell, FIDSA, IDSA Board of Directors Chair Emeritus and Modern Edge(link is external) founder and CEO, wrapped up with Bias, Health Care and Future Care. “Why we gather data is as important as how we gather data, and co-creation must accompany collaboration,” he said. “More innovation is lost in the grey area between disciplines than is gained by maximizing any single discipline.” Angell opened up about what he believes is one of the most valuable lessons for designers: “Two kind and smart people can look at the same issue and fundamentally disagree.”
The conference also included a tour of the first-lass facilities @CAMLSTampa, which tweeted. “We are so glad to see all of the excitement going on here at CAMLS for #IDSAMedical15.”
Attendees couldn’t agree more. @m3designthink posted, “Learning from some very smart people” and “That’s a wrap from Tampa. Thanks to all of the speakers for great insights and fresh perspective” while @DunstanBarnes wrote, “No surprise to see beautiful slide after slide at #IDSAMedical15.”
The 2015 IDSA Medical Design Conference was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson(link is external); McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd.(link is external); Agora An Outside Edge(link is external); BlackHägen Design(link is external); Productive Plastics, Inc. Custom Plastic Thermoforming(link is external); Farm Medical Product Development(link is external); GCX Mounting Solutions(link is external); Keyshot by Luxion(link is external); OccamMD(link is external); Society of Plastics Engineers(link is external); Wacom(link is external); and Ximedica: Living Innovation(link is external).
Continue the conversation on Twitter @IDSA #IDSAMedical15
A wireless system developed by Assistant Professor Ada Poon uses the same power as a cell phone to safely transmit energy to chips the size of a grain of rice. The technology paves the way for new "electroceutical" medical devices to treat illness or alleviate pain.
Stanford electrical engineer Ada Poon has invented a way to wirelessly transfer power deep inside the body, and then use this power to run tiny electronic medical gadgets such as pacemakers, nerve stimulators or new sensors and devices yet to be developed.
The discoveries culminate years of efforts by Dr. Poon, assistant professor of electrical engineering, to eliminate the bulky batteries and clumsy recharging systems that prevent medical devices from being more widely used. The technology could provide a path toward a new type of medicine that allows physicians to treat diseases with electronics rather than drugs. "We need to make these devices as small as possible to more easily implant them deep in the body and create new ways to treat illness and alleviate pain," said Poon.
Poon's team built an electronic device smaller than a grain of rice that acts as a pacemaker. It can be powered or recharged wirelessly by holding a power source about the size of a credit card above the device, outside the body.
A batteryless electrostimulator next to medicinal pills for size comparison. The new powering method allows the device to be wirelessly powered deep inside the body.The central discovery is an engineering breakthrough that creates a new type of wireless power transfer – using roughly the same power as a cell phone – that can safely penetrate deep inside the body. An independent laboratory that tests cell phones found that Dr. Poon’s system fell well below the danger exposure levels for human safety. Her lab has tested this wireless charging system in a pig and used it to power a tiny pacemaker in a rabbit. She is currently preparing the system for testing in humans. Should such tests be approved and prove successful, it would still take several years to satisfy the safety and efficacy requirements for using this wireless charging system in commercial medical devices.
Poon believes this discovery will spawn a new generation of programmable microimplants – sensors to monitor vital functions deep inside the body; electrostimulators to change neural signals in the brain; and drug delivery systems to apply medicines directly to affected areas.