Bold Insight and Eli Lilly and Company co-publish journal article on novel assessment tool to enhance medical device usability

April 12, 2024

Bold Insight team members Kaitlin Stinson,  Courtney Roberts, and Stephanie Wiltman recently co-authored a research article with Mikaylah Gross, Senior Principal Human Factors Engineer at Eli Lilly and Company. The article, Improving medical device usability by reducing complexity using a novel predictive models-based user interface assessment tool, published in Human Factors in Healthcare, details the development of a Microsoft Excel-based tool used to predict and analyze time and mental effort required when using medical device hardware and smartphone mobile application dyads. This tool, used in conjunction with other more traditional human factors methods, may improve medical device development to decrease unnecessary time on task and mental burden—and therefore task complexity—to decrease non-compliance and provide a safe and effective solution for users. 

“Our collaborative effort has propelled us toward a progressive approach in medical device usability,” said Kaitlin Stinson, Director at Bold Insight. “This tool enables us to pinpoint where we can concentrate our efforts to reduce user interface design complexity and prevent users from simplifying things themselves, leading to safer and more efficient products for patients.” 

In their comprehensive analysis, Stinson, Roberts, Wiltman, and Gross delve into the intricacies of managing chronic conditions such as type 1 diabetes. Their project sheds light on the daily regimen required, including strict diet monitoring, regular blood sugar checks, and the need for consistent insulin injections. They emphasize the considerable amount of time and mental effort patients and caregivers must invest to adhere to these routines. Additionally, the authors explore the challenges associated with maintaining long-term treatment regimens and the natural inclination among those affected to find more efficient methods. However, these shortcuts, such as neglecting sterilization processes, can compromise safety. The paper introduces an innovative tool that leverages combinations of previously validated methods, specifically FLM and FTM-1, to forecast the time needed to perform essential tasks using a medical device integrated with a smartphone application, marking a significant contribution to the field of human factors. In practice, the use of this tool has helped product development teams identify specific tasks and parts of workflows that lead to increased cognitive load which led to feature prioritization for user interface design improvements resulting in a reduction of mental burden for users who manage chronic conditions. 

The authors recently presented this project at the 2024 Human Factors and Ergonomics HFES Health Care Symposium. 

Read the full article by visiting the ScienceDirect website 

About Bold Insight
Bold Insight is a UX and human factors research agency based in Chicago and London. Executing projects that span the product development life cycle, we conduct user research informing early product design to global human factors validation. We work with digital, next-generation technology—medical devices to mobile apps, IFUs to customer journeys. Reach out to chat about your research questions!  

About Human Factors in Healthcare (HFH)
HFH is a Gold Open Access journal by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, focusing on human factors in healthcare. It publishes peer-reviewed research, best practices, and insights for professionals in healthcare, industry, and regulation, covering a wide range of topics from usability to patient safety across various healthcare domains. Learn more by visiting their website.