top of page

Exploring Success: Intelligent Fieldwork and Fearsome in Usability Testing

Embarking on a collaborative journey, Intelligent Fieldwork and Fearsome have joined forces in a user project for a medical device client, creating a new ophthalmology device. This case study serves as a testament to the power of collaboration, shedding light on the critical role of user testing in the development and validation of medical devices.

Selecting the Right Participants

At its core, the narrative emphasises the significance of selecting the right individuals, particularly patients, for these studies—a pivotal aspect expertly navigated by Intelligent Fieldwork. We delve into the intricacies of how Intelligent Fieldwork excels in sourcing the ideal participants and feature insights from Morven, offering a glowing testimonial that encapsulates the essence of this partnership.

Perspectives from Fearsome

Additionally, Fearsome shares their perspective on the collaborative experience, articulating what makes working with Intelligent Fieldwork a truly exceptional venture. Through customer testimonials and a deep dive into the communication processes employed by Intelligent Fieldwork, this case study aims to not only showcase accomplishments but also to inspire and inform industry peers about the transformative impact of strategic partnerships. 

Morven Shearlaw, Co-Founder of Fearsome said: 

‘’Our collaboration with Intelligent Fieldwork has been pivotal in advancing our ophthalmology project to its current phase. In search of a recruitment company specialising in medical studies, we fortuitously encountered Intelligent Fieldwork. From the initial conversation, a lasting relationship blossomed, grounded in their acute understanding of our project requirements. Intelligent Fieldwork's ability to precisely identify and provide the exact user groups we and our client sought has been instrumental. The seamless process and effective communication have made our collaboration not only productive but also a pleasure.’’

Intelligent Fieldwork's Expertise

Intelligent Fieldwork, a completely independent research recruitment company with over 20 years of experience in the industry recruiting individuals and healthcare professionals, has a unique background. The team has been employed by a Human Factors Specialist company and a market research company, providing them with a greater understanding of client projects and their objectives.

Every study is different, requiring a tailored recruitment approach. Intelligent Fieldwork's expertise in fieldwork recruitment extends to common therapy areas as well as the 'harder to reach' participants, necessitating search skills beyond their panel and typical social media platforms.

Challenges and Solutions

Fearsome tasked Intelligent Fieldwork with recruiting elderly participants, some with physical limitations, to assess an optical imaging device. The study presented several challenges, including a limited database in the Glasgow area, where the study was conducted.


  1. This cohort does not normally have a good digital footprint or social media presence.  We therefore had to think of alternative ways to reach this audience, such as friends and family referrals and contact with local charities and social groups. 

  2. More likely to be suspicious of “scams”. 

  3. More likely to have health issues and a fear of exposure to viruses “before Christmas”. We found that since COVID, people in general want to stay well and make the most of the festive period with family and friends, meaning they are less likely to put their health at risk by coming into contact with others.

  4. General reluctance to travel into the city during the busy festive season and in inclement weather. We endeavoured to provide participants with travel options and detailed maps of where to go. 

  5. Building trust in the process – the recruiter, the client, and the study’s objectives. This cohort in particular needs reassurance that there is a friendly face and someone prepared to fully answer any questions, behind the research involved.

How Intelligent Fieldwork Overcame Challenges:

  • Empathy and understanding of the recruited individuals.

  • Detailed explanation of the screener.

  • Ensuring participants were aware of the interview process and whom they were meeting, reassuring them about the safety of the study.

  • Minimising emails and guiding participants through the process.

As experienced recruiters, Intelligent Fieldwork anticipated and mitigated these challenges, tailoring their approach to each step of the recruitment process. They successfully found all required participants who were engaged and willing to take part in this and future studies.



The Intelligent Fieldwork and Fearsome collaboration exemplifies the transformative potential of strategic partnerships in overcoming challenges and achieving outstanding results in medical device testing. This case study stands as an inspiring example for industry peers, highlighting the importance of collaboration, participant selection, and effective communication in the development and validation of innovative medical technologies.


bottom of page