When a company creates medical devices for individuals and medical institutions, keeping the user experience (UX) for medical devices at the forefront is critical. Being able to use the machines quickly is vital to the patient’s optimal health.
With a complex interface and multiple buttons to choose from, the period between a medical emergency and getting the necessary assistance can extend too long. A medical device UI design can often serve a life or death purpose, so getting to it and utilizing it fast is critical.
UX for a medical device makes that a possibility. You will see this play out through usability, aesthetics, user research, and human factors engineering. Continue reading to learn more about this process and its importance.
Factors That Impact the UX For A Medical Device
When it comes to a medical device’s UI design and the optimal level of UX, there are various considerations to keep in mind. We detail the importance of usability, aesthetics, and emotional appeal below.
User experience for medical devices needs to cater to individuals of all ages and knowledge levels. It’s not feasible to have equipment that can only be accurately managed by a trained medical professional. Instead, you must develop UX for a medical device that a patient can quickly orient to before being discharged to go home.
It’s common for specific medical device UI design aspects to reflect as dated, especially regarding technology. When creating UX for a medical device, you want to avoid bulky objects that utilize hard-to-view screens and menu options.
When patients are suffering from a medical condition that requires an intervention of some sort, they often start to feel a loss of independence. Having a high level of user experience for medical devices can give these individuals some of their freedom back by allowing them to care for themselves outside of a medical setting.
Best Practices for Designing Medical Devices With the User in Mind
When creating wellness equipment and making the user experience for medical devices a priority, there are a few different avenues in which designers and researchers can best implement these elements. Below, we detail the importance of user-centered design, user research, and human factors engineering.
User-Centered Design Process
At the start of creating a medical device’s UI design and beginning the testing of UX for a medical device, it’s essential to look at the device from the user’s angle. Not all individuals who use the product will have the same level of understanding, so it’s best to create entry-level equipment and operations that require little to no training before using it for the first time.
Conducting User Research and Testing
To ensure that the user experience for medical devices is a fit for the target populations that a company is aiming for, conducting thorough research and testing with a sample audience is critical to having an optimal experience. When this element goes into play, the company is able to see where the shortfalls are and what areas need improvement before being introduced to the medical community.
Incorporating Human Factors Engineering Principles
When considering the necessary elements to add to the user experience for medical devices, you must think of the broad spectrum of human factors and how to best implement them into the equipment. While testing the UX for a medical device will determine various gaps in the design, it doesn’t account for each behavior and any limitations that an individual may have and which may prohibit them from using certain features currently in the design.
Examples of Successful Medical Device Designs That Prioritize UX
While many companies have yet to fully immerse their processes in UX, a few have made it a priority. Those companies have found themselves with highly successful outcomes in the performance of their medical devices.
Examples of UX For a Medical Device
As user experience for medical devices has become more prevalent in the medical community and its importance more understood, there have been medical devices that strongly display a high level of the concept.
Having a streamlined application to control everything through Bluetooth has been an enormous step for many people. Those who are already familiar with navigating apps benefit from a quick learning curve and are able to implement the process into their daily lives much more quickly than they have in the past.
Telemedicine UX For a Medical Device
One thing that has significantly improved the quality of life for many is the use of telemedicine. For those who are unable to drive or can’t afford to get themselves to the doctor, they can check in through their phone or computer. User experience for medical devices has proven to be significantly impactful for this innovation.
Patients can also receive some therapies online instead of needing to go in person. Today they can receive speech, vision, physical, and many other therapies online without needing to leave their home.
When people think of virtual reality, they often correlate it with video games. However, medical device designers have incorporated technology into medical procedures. When they are using the equipment, the experience and technology can take individuals to relaxing environments or participate in a fun game while in stressful procedures.
As another example of user experience for medical devices, a new addition to the medical uses augmented reality UX for a medical device to display a person’s veins before a blood draw. Instead of a tech needing to search for a good place to insert the needle, the device shows the exact locations available.
Previously, if a patient needed consistent monitoring, they had no option but to stay in the hospital. However, today the technology exists where physicians can send you home with a wearable device and monitor the activity from the hospital. This option exists due to UX for a medical device.
Another famous user experience for medical devices of the past decade comes in the form of smartwatches. These devices serve many purposes, but for those needing medical assistance, they can issue medication reminders, track heart rates, provide emergency assistance, and much more.
Enhance User Experience in Medical Device Design Today
While many designers show hesitancy in making UX for a medical device a priority, it is quickly becoming evident that it’s the right path. Not only does this element help medical staff through simplified training needs and faster response times, but it also allows patients to be more independent.
When patients have the ability to take care of themselves at home instead of relying on the assistance of nurses and aides at the hospital, it gives them a higher level of confidence and a feeling of independence. User experience for medical devices has made that happen. Having medical devices that they can easily manage due to the implementation of UX makes it more possible to have that opportunity.
Overall, having medical products that focus on usability, aesthetics, and emotional appeal through user research, incorporating human factors engineering, and designing the product with the user at the center have many benefits for everyone. UX for a medical device is a game changer for patients and medical personnel alike. Reach out to MDI today to learn more.