UX Oxford Thursday, May 17 at 7:00 PM

Big pharma is putting huge effort into developing apps, as part of a wider ‘system-based’ approach to medication usage. We know that compliance with medication is generally poor, with over half of patients not taking their medicines as directed. The hope is that apps can aid compliance, but at the moment these claims are largely untested.

The Regulators (such as the US FDA) class these types of app as medical devices in their own right. As such, this requires the app to be subject to the same usability engineering processes as other medical apps. The methodologies for applying usability engineering processes to medical devices is relatively recent, but is supported by an international standard, IEC62366. However, this standard was developed with physical devices in mind, not apps. So can these principles be applied to medical apps?
MDU work on applying usability testing principles to apps for a range of pharmaceutical companies. Also MDU are funding their own novel research into compliance and app design.
In this talk, Richard will review MDU’s experience with app testing, and will draw out some of the challenges of providing rich data for app developers with the constraints imposed by regulators.

About Richard:
Richard Featherstone is founder and Managing Director of Medical Device Usability Ltd., a specialist usability and human factors consultancy based in Cambridge UK. With over 15 years of experience of usability research, Richard runs the group of 8 Usability Specialists at MDU, working on a wide range of medical and pharmaceutical devices for clients globally. Prior to his usability work, Richard worked for 20 years in a variety of roles in the pharmaceutical industry, including developing breath-actuated asthma inhalers. Richard also pioneered some of the early work on using observational data to compare outcomes for different types of pharmaceutical devices.
Established in 2010, MDU works with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies on their global human factors programmes. Richard oversees the research programs that MDU run, from early stage contextual research through to large-scale human factors validation work to FDA requirements. An increasing trend has seen more usability focus on medical apps, often being developed by pharmaceutical companies to support patient compliance programmes. MDU also specialise in usability evaluation in high fidelity simulated use environments, including operating rooms, intensive care and emergency care scenarios.

Doors open for welcome and network: 7pm
Talk starts: 7:30pm


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