Sunday, June 26, 2016

5 ways to avoid Murphy's Law in medical devices

Murphy’s Law influence in the design of a medical product can cause harm, irreparable damage, and even death. After all, according to the theory, “if someone can use a product the wrong way, then they will”. The goal of medical device engineers is to design products that are intuitive, easy-to-use, and simple.

Source: Qmed
The challenge is to project devices that never allow Murphy’s Law to work. Medical technology needs to be developed based on how the patient thinks, feels and behaves. It needs to fit perfectly and perform flawlessly.
Bryce Rutter, founder and CEO of Metaphase Design Group, provides a cheat sheet for the top five critical success factors in eliminating human error:
1. Keep it Simple­
Less is more. Don’t get cute or clever.
2. Create a Visual Hierarchy
Everything is connected someway. Group controls and displays need to be based on function, importance, and frequency of use.   Establish visual importance through size, position, color, contrast, and shape.
3. Strive for Order
Our brains like order, not chaos.  Aligning and grouping fields, functions, and buttons and dividing content into digestible and meaningful chunks will create order and simplify a graphical user interface.
4. Design for Consistency
We like patterns. Good graphical user interfaces use consistent behavior throughout the application.
5. Embrace Conventions
Experience is empowering. Building upon a user's prior knowledge and experience expedites learning and efficacy.”

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Why we need an Elon Musk in healthcare

   2016 is not even over yet but it has already been a fantastic year for billionaire businessman Elon Musk: Tesla Motors revealed its Model 3 car in March and in April SpaceX was finally able to land the reusable Falcon 9 rocket on a platform at sea. Musk has brought his ambition, innovative ideas and hard work to everything he touches: besides the electric vehicle company and the private spaceflight firm, Elon Musk also cofounded Paypal and has plans to colonize Mars by 2014. However, healthcare is probably the sector in which his golden touch is needed the most, with the aging population and medical costs going out of control.

   One important reason why Elon Musk has been able to drive breakthrough changes in the areas he’s been working with is that he’s not afraid to aim high and it’s time for that kind of big thinking in healthcare. “Instead of treating cancer, we need people set on eradicating it”, states Jamie Hartford - MD+DI's editor-in-chief. How inconceivable is it really to think we can’t wipe out this disease by the time we see the first generation of men on Mars?
   Another great thing about Musk is his realization that he cannot achieve everything by himself: SpaceX’s open-sourced design and Tesla’s open patents are an example of this – as Musk explained in 2014, “sharing intellectual property benefits not just his companies but the entire world”. Our industry players need to start thinking outside of their own organizations if we want to solve many of the healthcare problems we face today.

   Elon Musk’s ability to fascinate has truly inspired his followers to go on to launch their own groundbreaking companies – here’s to at least one of them come to disrupt healthcare…