Clinically Based Task Analysis: A Multi-Tiered Development Approach
Event Type
Poster Presentation
TimeThursday, April 152:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
LocationMedical and Drug Delivery Devices
DescriptionThe Task Analysis is a fundamental tool used to gain an understanding of the development work involved in the use of novel devices and systems. It is a key part of any human factors specialist’s toolbox. It is a method that should be done early in developmental stages to elicit the greatest benefit from discoveries while also evolving along with product development (PD) insights. An effectively executed Task Analysis process positively impacts each PD member’s activities throughout the product development process.

Meddux offers full-service design, development, and manufacturing of novel medical devices. We have had the opportunity to work with a range of clients with projects at all stages of development, and we also work on many different projects simultaneously. Innovation in the medical device industry is rapid, and delays in successful product launches can impact product adoption and even miss the market window entirely. Project timelines can often leave little time for undertaking an in-depth Task Analysis effort and even diminish the perceived value of a Task Analysis at all.

Despite the constraints, our company recognizes the value these efforts bring to the project, so we begin developing a preliminary Task Analysis early (poster will include a representation of this early task analysis and accompanying visual industrial design sketches). During these early stages in development, we are many times forced to use any reliable resources that are quickly accessible. PD activities do not stop due to lack of workflow understanding, and early development phases are an opportunity to educate the team about users, user interface touchpoints, and environmental conditions. This initial understanding builds a base to support the intended function of any innovative device and allows early form exploration (industrial design) to begin.

As product development matures the Task Analysis evolves along with it. With a more mature product, varying human factors methods can be utilized to enhance the accuracy of the Task Analysis and the PD team’s ability to identify and mitigate risk.

This poster will explore the relationship between the Task Analysis and the influence it has on other PD activities throughout the product development process of a novel medical device. It will use simplified visualizations to show the development of a healthcare product utilizing a hierarchical Task Analysis approach. This will be broken up into three tiers of development, showcasing the Task Analysis and accompanying industrial design sketch. Each tier will include suggested resources used, research methods and analysis, and appropriate fidelity of concept sketch. The key takeaway of this presentation is to share an understanding of the interplay between human factors and industrial design during varying phases of product development through the lens of a small startup team.