Abstract

Home medical devices are developing into a major industry worldwide that covers monitoring, diagnostic, disease prevention, treatment, alleviation of disease and rehabilitation equipment. Services are being moved out to the community and into the home; self management is replacing hospitalization and visits to the doctor’s clinic; and custom-tailored medicine is making inroads into normative treatment. These developments have great implications for the scope and design of home medical equipment. The paper will discuss the unique and complex nature of home medical devices, from a human–environment–machine perspective focusing on the changeable unpredictable nature of users, the unknown, amorphous home environment and the level of intricacy of tasks performed by patients having various diseases and disabilities. The design of home/personal medical equipment should be guided by the need to make it compatible with the needs of different users and diverse residences. The selection of medical equipment should not be determined by passing trends, technological fashions, or search for innovative and hi-tech applications and gadgets. We call for increased awareness and active, ongoing research by multidisciplinary teams of healthcare personnel, end user patients, caregivers, psychologists, social workers, and especially, the architects and designers who will be involved from the first stages of concept development through to the final stages of medical device marketing. Design of home/ personal medical equipment should follow principles of inclusive design (design for all, universal design) criteria, following usercentered design methodologies. It should accommodate the dynamic, uncertain and complex profile of the widest range of users and environments.

Keywords:

Home Care, Medical Devices, Healthcare Design, Medical Equipment, Inclusive Design, Design For All, User-Centered Design

Share

COinS
 
Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

Complexity in Home Medical Equipment Design

Home medical devices are developing into a major industry worldwide that covers monitoring, diagnostic, disease prevention, treatment, alleviation of disease and rehabilitation equipment. Services are being moved out to the community and into the home; self management is replacing hospitalization and visits to the doctor’s clinic; and custom-tailored medicine is making inroads into normative treatment. These developments have great implications for the scope and design of home medical equipment. The paper will discuss the unique and complex nature of home medical devices, from a human–environment–machine perspective focusing on the changeable unpredictable nature of users, the unknown, amorphous home environment and the level of intricacy of tasks performed by patients having various diseases and disabilities. The design of home/personal medical equipment should be guided by the need to make it compatible with the needs of different users and diverse residences. The selection of medical equipment should not be determined by passing trends, technological fashions, or search for innovative and hi-tech applications and gadgets. We call for increased awareness and active, ongoing research by multidisciplinary teams of healthcare personnel, end user patients, caregivers, psychologists, social workers, and especially, the architects and designers who will be involved from the first stages of concept development through to the final stages of medical device marketing. Design of home/ personal medical equipment should follow principles of inclusive design (design for all, universal design) criteria, following usercentered design methodologies. It should accommodate the dynamic, uncertain and complex profile of the widest range of users and environments.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.