The hurdle any emerging piece of technology must overcome before gaining widespread adoption is user-friendliness. A new device could offer many benefits, but if the majority of its target audience is unable to properly utilize it, it will never become an industry standard. The healthcare sector is especially prone to the possibility of new technologies failing to gain transaction within the industry given the high stakes involved. With patients’ lives on the line, healthcare providers aren’t going spend time getting acquainted with a medical device if it is unable to offer users a convenient and beneficial experience right out the gate.
Making technology available and convenient
PatientSafe President and CEO Joe Condurso recently spoke to Healthcare IT News about the hurdles of implementing new medical technology and the steps manufacturers can take to increase adoption rates. New devices should be designed with the right audience in mind – namely point of care practitioners such as nurses. If healthcare technology providers can convert those who are on the front lines of medical treatment, they will have a much easier time getting their products accepted by more hospitals.
Medical technology needs to be easy to use if it is going to be integrated into the daily workflow a healthcare facility. Condurso stressed the importance of a device’s ability to seamlessly work its way into a hospital’s operational processes. Medical technology designers should not want their products to stand out as highly visible yet cumbersome instruments, but rather should hope for them to become invisible cogs in the machine. Technology that easily records and integrates the myriad data that clinicians measure will have a greater chance at becoming accepted in the medical field.
The importance of mobility
Another major factor that affects the adoption rates of medical devices is the healthcare field’s affinity for mobility. Hospitals are incredibly busy sites, with medical providers constantly on the move from one patient to another. For years, doctors and nurses have utilized mobile devices to enhance their efforts to provide the highest quality care possible. Mobile technology has advanced far beyond the beepers of yesterday, allowing hospital employees to keep in constant contact with one another and provide real-time status updates. Successful medical devices need to take into account the fact that the vast majority of hospital staff are not tethered to a desk.
The medical technology market is becoming more crowded every day. According to a study released by PricewaterhouseCoopers, annual spending on diagnostic and therapeutic products will reach $42 billion by 2015. The daily workings of healthcare facilities are incredibly hectic and patients’ lives are frequently on the line. For medical technology designers to create products that will be widely accepted by doctors and nurses, they must stress convenience and mobility.
Are your medical device needs currently being met? What can manufacturers do to improve their products? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!