medical devices home-based careThe transition from hospital-based care to home-based care has been going on for some time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sped that movement up considerably. As we continue to deal with the pandemic, medical products for home-based care will be increasingly needed.

In addition to products and devices aimed specifically at COVID, solutions to enhance the delivery of telemedicine in all areas will be needed. Devices to aid in remote examination, remote diagnostics and remote monitoring are some examples of what will be in demand. Med device company leaders would be wise to direct development efforts there. Certainly many other opportunities will become apparent as the adoption of telemedicine accelerates.

Designing devices intended to be used in the home, and largely by untrained care givers, requires a different approach than designing for use in hospitals/clinics by trained medical personnel. Designing for ease-of-use takes on even more importance for such products. Medical device companies that recognize this and incorporate it as an integral part of their product development strategy now will give them advantages as leading players while others try to catch up.

Some of the tenets of ease-of-use:

  • Use contrast to draw the users’ attention to areas where you intend interaction to take place. Color-coding of touch points works especially well in this regard.
  • Use grouping and framing to separate multiple visual cues into more quickly-grasped subsets.
  • Allow users to easily recover from mistakes (e.g., provide a “home” button).
  • Reduce visual complexity as much as practicable. Three to four pieces of information at a time is the limit users can deal with.
  • Provide feedback signals that let the user know they have completed an interaction task successfully.

Learn more about designing for ease-of-use in our whitepaper, Medical Device Design and Cognitive Psychology.