How To Design Medical Products That People Actually Want


Advancements in medical technology such as data analytics, telehealth, RPM, etc. are causing a significant shift in how healthcare services are delivered. Consumers are getting more alternatives to track and control their health, especially when it comes to preventative care. However, new design considerations emerge as medical product design moves from hospitals to homes.


According to a recent report, the worldwide medical devices market was valued at $456.9 billion in 2020, with a 4.4 percent CAGR since 2015. Despite a -3.2 percent anticipated drop in 2020, it is expected to rebound in 2021 with a 6.1 percent CAGR, reaching $603.5 billion in 2023. People want to use medical gadgets that have the same subtle and unobtrusive appearance as wearables in this day and age.


Medical devices aimed at the general public usually have a less clear medical aesthetic than those aimed towards hospital procurement officers. With rising competition, medical device manufacturers are in a race to create brilliant product designs that people love. This blog contains 7 tips that medical designers should follow to make a user-centric medical product.



Tips For Creating Medical Products That People Want


1. Planning for Design and Development


If you haven't worked it out yet, planning is critical for every step of the device development process. So it should be no surprise that you will need to document and review your design controls. Although much of the planning will take place early in the project, it's vital to remember that this plan should not remain static. As your design and development work progresses, you should review and update the program. A good plan will include a description and timeframe for all development activities and information about who is accountable for which actions and when design reviews will be held.



2. Recognize The Needs Of The Users


Most of the time, individuals do not have a say in how medical items are designed before being sold. Manufacturers do not develop for a single individual unless special items such as hearing aids or prostheses. This means that a designer must balance designing a product that performs its purpose while also considering design aesthetics to attract customers' attention. How else can product designers make money while also helping people?


With this in mind, designers must comprehend user requirements at all levels, from the broadest to the most specific. Medical gadgets that are unobtrusive and non-embarrassing are among the most common requests these days. Based on the information, a designer can create a concept design along with a design review form and checklist. As a result, everyone can stay on the same page.



3. Create An Emotional Bond Between Your Product And Your Customers


Purchasing merchandise is viewed as a commercial choice by hospitals. Procurement employees set out to do nothing more than checkboxes and meet commitments. It's an emotional journey for individuals looking to buy things for themselves, friends, or family. In reality, it's widely known that people don't make reasonable purchasing judgments. They're based on psychological forces that are basically beyond our control. If you want the typical person to buy your at-home medical equipment, you need to create an emotional connection with them. Make sure this task is added to your development team's product needs list.



4. Create Customized Experiences


Personalization is a hot topic in the consumer goods industry, and it has to catch on in healthcare as well. Those are using data at the forefront to create predictions about customers' wants and preferences. Netflix and other entertainment platforms generate suggestions that introduce consumers to new content based on their previous viewing habits. The in-flight screens aboard Airline planes greet guests by name and provide personalized information about their route, as well as customized eating and entertainment suggestions.


Targeted, individualized experiences in healthcare can be a turning point for substantial habit change. Information can engage health consumers in situations where their choices directly affect their health and well-being. With most individuals carrying or wearing smart gadgets, continuous data about their position is possible. This information can be used to provide timely, appropriate recommendations. Real-time knowledge can save many lives in the event of COVID-19 or any future epidemic.



5. Good Design Is Pleasing To The Eye


The merchandise and products we use every day impact our image in society, the visual appeal of a product is critical to its function. Likewise, the appearance and feel of a medical product can have an impact on the emotional bond it has with its user. Aesthetics should be driven by the product's function, but they can also be employed to engage a user and elicit a specific emotion when appropriate.



6. Create A Design That Is Centered On The User


Many med techs have traditionally been technology-centric rather than user-centric. As a result, they're organized into tech departments like mechanical, electrical, and software. Instead of addressing the complete patient journey, each of these departments has optimized its own individual aspect. Medical device manufacturers must ensure that the device's total user journey is tailored for a personalized human experience.



7. Addressing The Need For Regulation And Compliance


Manufacturers who follow the rules are more likely to be trusted by the general population. Not to mention that to enter the market, the medical equipment must meet specific regulatory requirements, which are governed by both regional and international standards.


Medical device standards are helpful in defining and evaluating the criteria for design and performance parameters for biomedical materials, instruments, and equipment. These medical device standards are regulated by the authorities like the FDA. Organizations that are directly related to medical devices, such as product manufacturers, laboratories, and others, must check and analyze such devices to verify that they meet certain quality and usability requirements.




Conclusion


While all medical goods must incorporate the emotional, physical, and cognitive needs of the health consumer to provide a holistic experience, organizations must go beyond human factors and usability studies to genuinely push the design boundaries in order to reach a consumer-level design. Medical device firms that can't include these four characteristics in their goods aren't producing scalable items, and they'll struggle to compete in the modern market.


It's crucial to remember that complexity is your company's challenge to address, but simplicity is what your customers want. The above seven suggestions are just a few of the many modifications you may require to compete in the home healthcare market. While the transition may seem complex and challenging, the potential to grow your business is enormous.