WORK / Article / Healthcare Design Partners to talk about the importance of Human Factors Engineering at Medical Technology Ireland

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Jack Connolly

Medical Device Designer

Jack is a Medical Device Designer in Design Partners, specializing in usability testing for physical and digital products. Jack has an MSc in medical device design and has been designing products and experiences in the consumer and healthcare sectors for 6 years.


By Jack Connolly, Medical Device Designer at Design Partners


Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Medical Technology Ireland conference at the end of the month, where our Medical Design Director, Eugene Canavan, will explain how we use Human Factors Engineering (HFE) to address the challenges around designing interventional surgical devices.

He will talk about how we have integrated HFE into the product development process, addressing unique challenges around interventional surgical procedures, where physical interaction and intuitive tools take on more importance because surgeons are constantly looking at visualisation monitors.

Compounding the challenge is the constant pressure of new developments in a fast-moving industry, which means new devices are frequently made available without pre-existing paradigms for their use. Both these factors present design and usability challenges.

Our aim at Design Partners is to tame complexity and make these devices instantly familiar and therefore intuitive to use. Correctly applied, HFE has a number of components that can help designers effectively address these challenges during the product development process.

Ideation to validation

Firstly, discovery research at the beginning of a project is an important way to unearth insights that will inspire user-centric solutions. After that, usability tests will inform design iterations which ultimately lead to device validation. Good user-centric design is based on the quality of the research that informs the design and the ability to keep user perspectives present over the course of product development.

The combination of design, mechanical engineering and HFE allows us to identify and address the unique challenges of the catheterisation laboratory, and then test our concept ideas in an iterative process that provides us with the data – and the confidence – to ensure we meet the challenges of the project.

We have found that this combined approach produces superior solutions that surpass user expectations, empowering physicians to deliver the best possible outcome for their patients. It’s a great example of how optimised design can dramatically reduce risk.

At the conference, Eugene will go into more detail about the role that HFE plays and how it is integral to our design process from ideation through to validation. The outcome is a device that delivers medical benefits in a way that is safe for both user and patient.

The Medical Technology Ireland conference takes place on 27/28th September 2017 at Galway Racecourse and brings together world leaders in medical device technology, manufacturing and design. Click here to register or connect with me on LinkedIn to read more blogs. 


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