The philosophy that underpins our approach to Medical Design explained

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“People don’t want technology, they want what technology does,” says Michael Phillips, by attempting to make medical devices do more, medical designers are at-risk of undermining the fundamental purpose of these devices – to make people better.

For Michael and the design team, the beauty of well-designed technology isn’t in its complexity, but its simplicity. “The art of great industrial design is in creating the efficient and effective interface between human and device,” he says. “It’s about satisfying all the senses.” Nowhere is this more important than in the world of medical devices, where products should be judged on their useability and their effectiveness. It’s not designers who will make this final judgement, it’s users.

“The better the products we create, the more clinicians are likely to adopt them or the more patients are likely to use them,” he says. ‘’They are not going to be effective if they stay in the packet or in the cupboard. Further, if devices are not appealing to use, then it is well understood that compliance, or adherence to a medical regime or treatment will suffer.’’

medical device design

The Design of Science and The Science of Design

Phillips’ has helped develop an inclusive philosophy at Renfrew Group international (RGI), a company that for over 30 years has established a reputation for the development of innovative medical devices. As design development director, Michael Phillips is a passionate advocate for the humanisation of technology – focusing on the outcome – not the object. It all starts with the patient and how the science is delivered to the patient. We talk about The Design of Science (how the science is to be applied most effectively in the real world) and The Science of Design (a systematic and collaborative approach to problem solving).

Health services across the world are facing increasing pressure from a growing and ageing population. These demographic shifts are providing the inspiration for much innovation, with a greater focus on devices that enable self-monitoring and improved self-care. The purpose is to keep people out of hospital in the first place and safely discharge patients from hospital as quickly as possible, and improve their quality of life at home.

With no clinician on hand, patients must go it alone. “We have to create products that are simple, intuitive and beautifully designed to ensure patients use them,” says Phillips.

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Click on the link to read the New Design magazine article and to find out more about the philosophy underpinning the consultancy’s radical approach to Medical Design.

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