On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the long awaited Applying Human Factors and Usability Engineering to Medical Devices guidance document.
As noted in the Scope:
This guidance recommends that manufacturers follow human factors or usability engineering processes during the development of new medical devices, focusing specifically on the user interface, where the user interface includes all points of interaction between the product and the user(s) including elements such as displays, controls, packaging, product labels, instructions for use, etc. While following these processes can be beneficial for optimizing user interfaces in other respects (e.g., maximizing ease of use, efficiency, and user satisfaction), FDA is primarily concerned that devices are safe and effective for the intended users, uses, and use environments. The goal is to ensure that the device user interface has been designed such that use errors that occur during use of the device that could cause harm or degrade medical treatment are either eliminated or reduced to the extent possible. (pp. 1-2)
A more in-depth review will be posted in the coming weeks.