There is a growing need for medical product development to include aesthetics as one of the prime drivers of product success. We have noted for some time that medical products and devices are moving out of the hospital and clinic environment and into the home, and even into public spaces. As further proof, the Federal Aviation Administration recently approved a number of oxygen concentrators that can be used by individuals on commercial airline flights.

When someone is using a medical device in their home, or is carrying the device around with them in their daily activities, the appearance of the product is going to be extremely important. In those contexts, people will have very negative feelings about products that have a look that screams “medical device”. They’ll want to use products for which the appearance has been carefully thought out and designed to reflect their values, needs, and self-image. They’ll want products that are stylish and discreet, that don’t call attention to themselves and say, “hey, this person is sick”.

Most people involved in medical product development don’t have the skill set to provide effective aesthetic treatment. Incorporating industrial design for medical products is going to be an increasingly efficient lever in attaining product success in the medical market.