4 steps to deeper medical device design insights


When it comes to medical device design insights, Karten Design might have a helpful tool with its “Voice of the Ecosystem” approach.

There are many changes to the healthcare system, Eunji Park, lead design strategist at Karten Design, explained during a webinar this week entitled, “Unpacking the Ecosystem of Healthcare Consumers.”

Cost increases in the healthcare setting are rising due to aging population and growth of chronic diseases, Park said. At the same time, healthcare providers are implementing value-based payment models, which measure the value of care delivered to the patient. The benefit to the patient has to come while cutting costs. It means that healthcare providers are motivated to look into data to monitor outcomes.

Park also noted that the healthcare industry is seeing increased smartphone use, as well as data enabled health in the home care setting. In general, there is an increased desire from patients to be electronically enabled and engaged in their own health.

“All of these factors create a complex web of conflicting priorities and many of those factors still operate in a silo,” Park said. The situation requires a need to consider the greater network of stakeholders, factors and healthcare trends when it comes to evaluating and predicting a medical technology’s success.

Voice of the Ecosystem Karten-Design-medical device design MDO

To make those connections, Karten Design uses Voice of the Ecosystem to measure stakeholders, dynamics, and behaviors to create a map that will help predict a product’s ability to see market adoption.

Constructing the Voice of the Ecosystem requires 4 steps:

  1. Establishing a foundation and hypothesis creation. This step is about gaining insight into the entire industry. General research looks at health news and technology trends, product categories and comparing value propositions. It also includes examination of the regulatory environment, investment triggers and barriers to entry – and starts to predict the levels of adoption.
  2. Deep investigation into the user experience. This portion is the primary research which includes personal engagement with stakeholders. Researchers meet in person with healthcare providers, prospective patients and the many participants who might have varying priorities.
  3. Framework development and visualization. This step is the point at which key insights are aggregated into a visual tool. It brings researchers, engineers, and designers of the product together to develop a plan.
  4. Identify opportunity areas and strategic direction. Because of the deep research and holistic assessment, this step not only includes design insights, but can inform marketing plans, support and training opportunities and clinical steps.

Park said the Voice of Ecosystem approach has intrinsic value because it provides a holistic perspective and doesn’t lose sight of the people who will be using the therapy. It provides opportunity identification for a platform of the technology and informs areas for innovation. Finally, it enables consumer focus and longevity of outcomes.

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