Human factors engineering for designing the next in medicine

Fuji Lai
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 2007, 125: 262-4
Good design of emerging medical technology in an increasingly complex clinical and technological environment requires an understanding of the context of use, workload, and environment as well as appreciation for ease of use, fit into clinical workflow, and the need for user feedback in the design process. This is where human factors engineering can come into play for good design. Human factors engineering involves the application of principles about human behaviors, abilities, and limitations to the design of tools, devices, environments, and training in order to optimize human performance and safety. The human factors engineering process should be an integral part of the emerging technology development process and needs to be included upfront. This can help ensure that the new product is safe, functional, natural to use, seamlessly integrated into existing clinical workflow, and embraced by users to be incorporated into practice for maximum benefit to patient safety and healthcare quality.

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