The Design of Postural Aid Equipment

The Design of Postural Aid Equipment

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The Design of Postural Aid Equipment

The increasing importance of ergonomics in the design of medical equipment as well as other industrial products has replaced the traditional method that focused on the clients’ needs.

Problem Statement

The article discussed the results generated by several hundred projects that were carried out using an ergonomic approach. The projects were mostly created because of earlier projects that were centered on the client’s needs. Furthermore, these projects were categorized according to different sectors. Within the sectors, most of the changes made included media redesigns, enhanced office designs, software upgrades and ascertaining that emerging technology does not obstruct usability. The major problem identified in the article revolved around the client-centered approach. Clients regularly had a pre-visualized concept of their problems to be tackled as well as a proposal of the solutions to be adopted. While design clients often outline project limits and possess pre-conceived thoughts on the way these directives should be realized, this is not a direct implication that designers should comply with the principles blindly (Prevost, & Spooner, 2012). An ergonomic approach seeks to offer solid results such as usability test results, prototypes, and task analysis. It equally offers clients access to information that is difficult to access. Many of the clients encountered in the line of duty are barely aware of the industrial information, experiences and alternatives to make an informed decision.

Drivers

One of the key driving factors in the case study is the limited amount of information possessed by clients. The greater part of project are closely monitored and influenced by the demands of the clients. However, most of these people are normally ill informed. The firm’s objectives include introducing and embracing an approach that focuses on ergonomics instead of the client-centered approach. In this particular case, the firm is interested in shifting their approach when developing the postural aid equipment (Prevost, & Spooner, 2012). The goal is to come up with medical equipment that can serve the main purpose of rectifying patient problems rather than serving the needs of the medical staff or any other stakeholders. The long-standing dependence on the prominence of the client has made it difficult for industrial actors to adopt a contemporary and effective approach.

Problem Solution Framework

The initial section of the problem solution framework involved preparing the users for the surveys to follow. The participants of the survey were categorized into four: traditionalists and experiencers, conceptualizers, and idealists. Individuals in these four groups represent different levels of acceptance and comfort with adopting ergonomic approaches of production. The study then categorized the participants into two major user profiles. Designers worked with either the therapist or the technician in the development of postural aid equipment. The second part of the problem solution framework involved data collection (Prevost, & Spooner, 2012). The first session was one-one-one in which the participants were asked direct questions concerning the way they dealt with their patients. This part of the survey collected the information from the designers and allowed the study to gain a better understanding of the way people perceived changed in production approaches.

Analysis and Interpretation

The analysis of the case study was conducted initially through written transcripts of the recorded sessions. The cognitive task analysis outlined the errors, losses in time, delays as well as hesitations. This was followed by a list of the optimal strategies applied and categorization of the issues according to their significance. Several useful ideas were acquired from the grouped information. Short-term ideas that could be implemented in six months, mid term and long term ideas emerged from the procedure.

Recommendations

One of the key recommendations involves engaging all the involved personnel in a sensitization program that will ensure they are exposed to new industrial standards and needs. The conventional approach has been in place for several decades. It is imperative that the key players are exposed to newer approaches of developing their designs. These newer techniques incorporate ergonomic concerns that have emerged and this knowledge has to be delivered to the relevant people. Another significant recommendation is adopting a flexible approach that includes a drift from the strict project timelines and scope (Prevost, & Spooner, 2012). In the past, it has been discovered that clients place great limitations on the designers. By allowing for greater flexibility, designers can come up with better solutions. The last recommendation is to ensure that research is carried out by the firm on new ways to facilitate the adoption of ergonomic standards (Attwood, Deeb, & Danz-Reece, 2004). The results of such a research can assist other players improve their implementation efforts.

Limitations

One of the key limitations is the access to production facilities and experienced designers. The quality of the results of the study is limited by the participants in the survey. During the survey and data collection process, all of the respondents were chosen from the specific industries. Another limitation is the translation of the outcomes of the study to the medical field. While the study on ergonomics has revealed a massive wealth of information, implementing it in the production of postural aid equipment will require additional technical expertise. Other limitations that emerged in the study include the unavailability of finances and insufficient time for investigation.

 

References

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Attwood, D. A., Deeb, J. M., & Danz-Reece, M. E. (2004). Ergonomic solutions for the process industries. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Prevost, M. C., & Spooner, D. (2012). Anticipating needs and designing new items rapidly – A case study for the design of postural aid equipment. Work, 41, 5274-5281.

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