Our purpose is design’s greatest challenge: to make healthcare products satisfying, efficient, and safe. A well-designed medical product enables patients to live longer and better, helps healthcare providers deliver care, and permits caregivers to provide for loved ones. A poorly-designed product however can harm or kill.
Human Factors and User Experience are vital. Superior design requires scientific knowledge about people, their anatomy, physiology, sensory and perceptual systems, cognition, emotion, social behavior and motor control. In short, it requires human factors engineering and user experience. And, this need increases by the day.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, physicians learned to wash their hands before surgery. A doctor’s office had stethoscopes, ophthalmoscopes, and laryngoscopes. That’s it! It took a full five minutes, using a mercury thermometer, to measure body temperature.
A mere one hundred years later we have 1,700 different types (not models or skus) of medical products for surgery, intensive care, patient homes and public spaces. Users are no longer only doctors, but also nurses, therapists, techs, patients, and caregivers. This is one of the factors that propelled medical error to the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. The solution is to design products that capitalize on natural human capabilities and accommodate natural human limitations. That is why we are here.