UX Research For Medical Devices

Emergency Rooms

Stock photo for context. Not the actual lab setting. 

In 2020 and 2021, I collaborated with fellow UX Specialists at UserWorks on summative usability studies to ensure that Austrian and German medical devices are safe to launch in hospitals across the U.S. Below is an example of one such medical device usability study.

 

NDA prevents me from sharing some details. Please get in touch with me to know more about this study and other medical device studies I have worked on. 

Product

Blood and Fluid Warmer manufactured in Austria

 

Target Users

Physicians and nurses regularly work with infusion and/or transfusion equipment in U.S. hospitals. 

 

Research Question

Does the Blood and Fluid Warmer design facilitate safe and effective use and not create potential patient harm?

Research Method

Usability study

Research Type

Summative Evaluation 

 

My Role 

UX Researcher 

Project Timeline

5 weeks

Participants 

  • 8 Physicians 

  • 9 Nurses 

Conclusion

Overall, the device is an effective and safe device that medical professionals can be expected to use without error in most cases. However, there are some opportunities for improvement in the device's usability.

 

Three Key Insights 

  1. The only way to stop the over-temperature alarm is by unplugging the device. The lack of clear indication on how to stop the alarm and the constant loud beeping sound made the troubleshooting experience overwhelming for some participants.

  2. The cassette can be removed by sliding it out from the side. However, the latch on the side made some users think it could only be removed by unlatching the device.

  3. The Instructions For Use (IFU) lists names of acceptable cleaning agents and disinfectants for the device, none of which are familiar to Physicians and Nurses in the United States.

Three Key Recommendations

  1. Provide a way for users to stop the alarm on the device itself, either on the screen or on the body of the device near the power button. If the device needs to be unplugged for safety, flash the instruction to do that on the screen.

  2. Consider adding instruction on the latch that says, “ONLY open for cleaning,” or modifying the physical design of the device by changing the position/prominence of the latch.

  3. Replace the European medical device disinfecting procedure with American procedures and disinfectants that will be safe to use on the device, for example, bleach wipes and alcohol-based disinfectants.

For additional information, please contact srutivijaykumar@gmail.com.