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Human Factors Researcher
Human Factors and Ergonomics are interchangeable terms for the scientific discipline of optimising the design and functionality of equipment, machinery and medical devices. Human Factors professionals will employ a variety of disciplines including biomechanics, engineering, physiology, cognitive psychology and user interface design to reduce human error, identify potential hazards, increase productivity and enhance the safety and comfort of the end product or equipment.
Human Factors and ergonomics focus on the "fit" between the end user, the equipment or product and the environment in which the equipment is to be used. A Human Factors or Ergonomics Researcher within the medical devices or healthcare environment will use scientific methods to analyse the behaviour, capabilities and limitations of a representative end user group of patients and medical professionals to determine the optimum design and functionality for such equipment or medical devices.
In order to arrive at the optimum design for a specific medical device, the Human Factors Researcher will need to plan and organise usability trials and then collate and analyse the resultant user experience data. The Human Factors Researcher will also be required to produce documentation for submission and approval by the relevant authorities to demonstrate compliance with IEC 62366-1.
Skills and Experience Required for a Career as Human Factors Researcher
- Batchelor’s Degree in Product Design, Industrial Design, a Science or other relevant technical subject
- A Master’s degree in Human Factors can also be helpful
- Excellent communication skills
- Design and create methodologies for usability trials, capturing and analysing user experience data
- Collation of data resulting from usability trials and preparation of reports
- Understanding of the Medical Devices sector