Applying Consumer Electronic Trends to Medical Device Design

March 10, 2011

By Jessica Willing-Pichs, Senior Research & Product Strategist

In its recent debrief of the Consumer Electronic Show, consumer research website Iconoculture elevated five key tech trends to pay attention to:

  1. Mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are now steering tech innovation and democratizing the digital divide.
  2. It’s all about a simplified user experience that allows the user to ‘curate’ their own experiences (structuring & personalizing content to be more relevant and easier content sharing with minimal effort).
  3. 60% of US consumers today are engaging in ‘2 screen experiences’ simultaneously (ie. watch TV at the same time as surfing the web), which creates an opportunity for richer, deeper (or more distracted) parallel experiences
  4. ‘Intelligent’ devices are tracking user behavior and preferences to identify & anticipate future needs, creating a perception of serendipity and tech partnership
  5. Less friction and more spontaneity (“if you can’t do the task through your smart phone in under 10 seconds, don’t bother”) between devices working together across platforms

As a medical and healthcare product design and development group, we can’t help but predict how these trends will impact patients and medical professionals as their consumer expectations translate to similar demands in the healthcare arena. Here are three to consider:

  • With increasing confidence in mobile formats, absolute intolerance with device cords and continuous cord management will heighten
  • Communication access in the hands of both patients and clinicians will mean increasing impatience with information delays
  • Annoyance is growing with technology that requires extended set up time or unintuitive instruction
  • Expectation is growing that devices will be able to seamlessly upload and share data across formats with minimal user interaction