As a designer, it can be easy fall into the trap of focusing on and designing for the user. While this is all very good for the user, it’s not so great for the many other people who must interact with the product throughout its life. The intended user of a product is not the only user and there are a number of “stakeholders” in a product’s life.
When we understand that profitability is a vital part of the equation, it’s easy to see why Sustainability is a challenge worth embracing. By optimizing an existing design, or redesigning to minimize disposable elements, we can make a significant and positive difference.
Through Inclusive Design, people are given the opportunity to continue doing the things that provide them with quality of life. It’s also about using advanced technology without making things complicated and putting user needs first, without sacrificing profit or aesthetic advantages.
Much of the information gathered during evaluation in the early stages of product development is necessarily qualitative. Some quantifiable questions remain: how much deviation is there in the angle at which different doctors hold a laprascopic device? How does the movement of someone wearing a brace compare to that of a healthy person? Questions such as these can be answered using computer vision.
Whether you are designing an autonomous surgical robot, a patient-specific knee implant, or a paperweight for all the new regulations, volumes of data are useless without the proper specification framework to filter and process it.
Which materials make the most sustainable sense and for what applications? How can we create products that balance function with recycling opportunities? With new materials available and on the horizon, the balance point is shifting toward a place that’s more sustainable.
While an apple a day may not always keep the doctor away, a wireless patient monitor just might.
Apart from Speedo swimsuits, what other biomimicry learnings from Shark skin can we use for medical devices?
Involving all aspects of ergonomics—physical, cognitive and emotional—is the only way to create tomorrow’s engaging, enjoyable and appropriate device experiences, while fulfilling functional requirements as well as intangible needs.
True sustainability isn’t about compromise; it is about creating innovative solutions that are not only good for the world, but good for business.