Human Factors Engineering (HFE)
Have you ever tried to pull a door handle when it’s actually meant to be pushed? And sometimes the consequence of confusing instructions can be greater than just inconvenience and embarrassment – like misunderstanding the emergency exit instructions on a plane. Human Factors Engineering (HFE) is about designing products or systems that are easy to operate and, most importantly, support correct use. Our goal is to remove the potential for error from life-threatening situations - in other words, from those moments when everyone’s senses often are compromised.
In more formal terms, HFE applies what is known about human limitations and capabilities to the design of products or systems. By working with patients as well as other users, and by incorporating HFE into the development process, the resulting product should be more intuitive (using or based on what one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning; instinctive). This not only improves compliance, it additionally helps to minimize use-related hazards.
Why we need HFE
More and more medicines are intended for administration without the presence of a health care professional. The FDA has expressed alarm at the number of medical device errors outside the clinical setting [The Silver Sheet, May 2010].
HFE has been central to kaléo’s development approach from the very beginning. Kaléo is represented on national and international expert groups on this topic – including Human Factors & Ergonomics Society (HFES) and the Medical Devices for Injection and Human Factors Committees for the Association of the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) – our goal is to set the standard on incorporating HFE into product development.
The HFE Process
Our HFE process is cyclical and produces many evolving design iterations which allow us to launch products that are easy to operate and, most importantly, minimize use-related hazards. We conduct usability testing throughout the design process with patients, physicians and caretakers who provide feedback which then allows us to evolve the design and test again.