16 July 2007

Involving physicians in the design of medical devices

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GovernmentHealth IT has published an article featuring a sampling of the latest handheld devices and mobile applications built with physicians in mind.

“Personal digital assistants are old hat to many physicians. But a new generation of mobile technology that integrates handheld devices with software and services honed for the medical mind-set now targets physicians more directly.

One reason for the change is because doctors are more actively involved in product development. Manufacturers consult with them on design elements, and in some cases, the physicians become entrepreneurs and develop products for their peers. Offerings range from hosted messaging systems to portable PCs.

The result is products and services built to accommodate physicians’ need for speed and mobility.

For most new technologies, response time and convenience are central concerns. A physician could spend time driving to a hospital to view a patient’s cerebral angiogram, for example, or view the image on a mobile device from wherever he or she happens to be. In stroke cases, a decision to administer clot-busting tissue plasminogen activator drugs must be made within three hours of the onset of symptoms — a decision physicians could make more quickly if they have the diagnostic test results at their fingertips.”

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