Development of a Connected Sensor System in Colorectal Surgery: User-Centered Design Case Study

Christel Schwartz-Lasfargues, Camille Roux-Gendron, Pim Edomskis, Isabelle Marque*, Yves Bayon, Johan F. Lange, Jean Luc Faucheron, Bertrand Trilling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: A successful innovative medical device is not only technically challenging to develop but must also be readily usable to be integrated into health care professionals' daily practice. Through a user-centered design (UCD) approach, usability can be improved. However, this type of approach is not widely implemented from the early stages of medical device development. Objective: The case study presented here shows how UCD may be applied at the very early stage of the design of a disruptive medical device used in a complex hospital environment, while no functional device is available yet. The device under study is a connected sensor system to detect colorectal anastomotic leakage, the most detrimental complication following colorectal surgery, which has a high medical cost. We also aimed to provide usability guidelines for the initial design of other innovative medical devices. Methods: UCD was implemented by actively involving health care professionals and all the industrial partners of the project. The methodology was conducted in 2 European hospitals: Grenoble-Alpes University Hospital (France) and Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam (the Netherlands). A total of 6 elective colorectal procedures and 5 ward shifts were observed. In total, 4 workshops were conducted with project partners and clinicians. A formative evaluation was performed based on 5 usability tests using nonfunctional prototype systems. The case study was completed within 12 months. Results: Functional specifications were defined for the various components of the medical device: device weight, size, design, device attachment, and display module. These specifications consider the future integration of the medical device into current clinical practice (for use in an operating room and patient follow-up inside the hospital) and interactions between surgeons, nurses, nurse assistants, and patients. By avoiding irrelevant technical development, this approach helps to promote cost-effective design. Conclusions: This paper presents the successful deployment over 12 months of a UCD methodology for the design of an innovative medical device during its early development phase. To help in reusing this methodology to design other innovative medical devices, we suggested best practices based on this case.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere31529
JournalJMIR Human Factors
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to all the health care professionals who contributed to this study (including nurse assistants, nurses, physician assistants, and physicians) during observations and user tests in the digestive departments at Grenoble-Alpes University Hospital and the Erasmus Medical Center. The authors thank all the partners of the Exucheck project: Dagmar Guyader and Thomas Charrel, who headed the Exucheck project at Medtronic; Isabelle Boudry, who managed the regulatory process for clinical studies at Grenoble-Alpes University Hospital; Veronique Mourier and her colleagues at the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives; and Bernard Stempin from Maatel, who shared his advanced technical expertise. Finally, the authors thank Maighread Gallagher-Gambarelli for her advice on English use for the final version of the manuscript. This study was funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in Health, an institute founded by the European Union. This project is consistent with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in Health focus area of Health Care Continuum Pathways because it offers a preventive solution with the potential to help check and reduce the onset of chronic conditions and fatalities.

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to all the health care professionals who contributed to this study (including nurse assistants, nurses, physician assistants, and physicians) during observations and user tests in the digestive departments at Grenoble-Alpes University Hospital and the Erasmus Medical Center. The authors thank all the partners of the Exucheck project: Dagmar Guyader and Thomas Charrel, who headed the Exucheck project at Medtronic; Isabelle Boudry, who managed the regulatory process for clinical studies at Grenoble-Alpes University Hospital; Veronique Mourier and her colleagues at the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives; and Bernard Stempin from Maatel, who shared his advanced technical expertise. Finally, the authors thank Maighread Gallagher-Gambarelli for her advice on English use for the final version of the manuscript. This study was funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in Health, an institute founded by the European Union. This project is consistent with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in Health focus area of Health Care Continuum Pathways because it offers a preventive solution with the potential to help check and reduce the onset of chronic conditions and fatalities.

Publisher Copyright:
© Christel Schwartz-Lasfargues, Camille Roux-Gendron, Pim Edomskis, Isabelle Marque, Yves Bayon, Johan F Lange, Jean Luc Faucheron, Bertrand Trilling

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