medical designers?

Does anyone here have experience in the medical design field? I am wondering if there are opinions on the value of having credentials as a healthcare practitioner and combining them with a design background?

Ex: Do you think a licensed physical therapist who has direct experience with patients and has an undergrad degree in product design has a stronger platform to design home healthcare products?

Yes, having primary experience is desirable. In most other industries, designers can rely on self-reference when designing. Not so in healthcare, very few designers have the basic knowledge, so must be very altruistic and process driven.

Unfortunately primary knowledge can backfire on design team projects for the same reason. If you’re a know-it-all, and they know nothing, they’re going to spend a lot of time doing research which you will find less useful. You will have a bias for synthesis, where they will have a bias for analysis.

Bias can also be problematic due to the high variance in healthcare practice. I’ve heard complaints from nurses that certain designs done by pharmacists don’t make sense to them. I’ve also seen so many hospitals that have “their way” of doing things, which can actually be traced back to where their physicians went to medical school.

Just be aware of your own biases, stay altruistic, and recognize that you have a head start over other designers in “speaking the language” of healthcare.

Many physician-inventors have done well for themselves solving one-simple-problem in their problem domain, so you may have a lot of luck going the entrepreneur way, focusing on your area of expertise of home physical therapy.

I know multiple PTs who now work as ergonomist within various design firms as well as medical companies. The bonus would be having the design skills and language to back up the ergonomics and human performance limitations from the PT training.

So true, it always reinforces my view of Med-School as an overpriced TradeSchool… Just my little comparison.

I have noticed this in nurses, especially OR specialist.