Why do we focus on the harms arising from interactive medical devices when patients might experience even more harm from infections? Prof Ann Blandford (CHI+MED’s principal investigator) recently wrote on her secondary blog about this question and about how the changing landscape of care (eg more in-home care) might result in greater use of medical devices.
“On the flight I read a report on patient safety, which argued strongly that infection control is a much bigger issue than device design — certainly in terms of cost-effectiveness of interventions. That is almost certainly true if one considers just hospital-based care in 2013. But home care in the future? We’re all living longer; it will be essential to manage much more of our health outside the hospital setting; we’re going to rely increasingly on medical devices for both monitoring and management… and they will need to be safe (as well as clean!). So hopefully our research has some long-term relevance.”
Ann spent a month in North America, supported by a grant from the Royal Society (in addition to CHI+MED funding from the EPSRC) meeting clinicians and medical device specialists, finding out more about developments in the safety of interactive medical devices.
Ann Blandford (2010). When I get older: Interaction design for medical devices. Interfaces (quarterly publication of the BCS Interaction specialist group), issue 84, 12–13.
» Here Ann talks about the trend for greater reliance on technology in health, particularly with an ageing population, as more people .
Atish Rajkomar, Ann Blandford and Astrid Mayer (2012). Situated interactions of lay users with home hemodialysis technology: Influence of broader context of use. Proceedings of the 2012 Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care, 219-223. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
» Here Atish, Ann and Astrid talk about how people use medical devices (focusing on haemodialysis) at home.
“With the anticipated rise in home healthcare, there is a need to ensure that future home medical devices are designed such that they can be safely and easily used by lay patients and carers. To inform the design of these devices, it is important to understand how lay patients and carers currently interact with medical devices in the home environment, in terms of the context in which the devices are used, the difficulties that users face while interacting with the devices, and the strategies that users adopt when interacting with them.”