Avoiding Conflicting Requirements in the Development of Home Healthcare Devices

Horizons Home Healthcare 2013 Magazine CoverThis April, Daedalus will feature an article in Horizons the award-winning publication from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). Our article, Avoiding Conflicting Requirements in the Development of Home Healthcare Devices through an Interdisciplinary Approach, written by Carolynn Johnson and Craig Campbell, details a process to streamline the development of devices intended for home use.

A paradigm shift is occurring in healthcare: care is transitioning from the clinic to the home, resulting in new product categories and the evolution of existing products. The primary user is no longer a medical professional, but an untrained, often aged, individual. The device is no longer used in a controlled environment, such as a hospital or clinic, but instead in the home and other commonly visited locations. This shift to the home mandates that all stakeholders within the development process consider how these differences must drive product requirements.

Our article argues that for a device to be successful, an interdisciplinary approach must be utilized that combines design thinking and design research with a user-centered process. This approach magnifies the focus and expertise of each involved discipline. It forces engineers, product managers, and even designers to drop preconceived notions. It unifies the development team with the goal of meeting core user needs and desires. Trade-offs and compromises that are inherent between requirements from different disciplines offer opportunities for innovative solutions instead of conflicts. By unifying the team with fundamental requirements based on the same in-depth user understanding, hidden assumptions are avoided and space is created to approach problems innovatively, streamlining the development and review process.

For examples of how Daedalus addresses these issues read Enlisting Engineers and Designers for Informative Research in a Short Amount of Time.

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