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The International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care will feature five workshops on Sunday, March 26. Learn more about each of these workshops.

WKI: Tips and Tricks for Addressing the Physical Ergonomics of Medical Devices


Sunday, March 26 | 9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Stephen Wilcox, PhD, Design Science


The workshop will provide techniques for addressing this problem—how to extrapolate or interpolate from the information you have to the information you need to responsibly design a medical device.  We will examine where to find data on physical ergonomics, how to extrapolate from those data, how to design and execute cost-effective studies when necessary to supplement published data, and how to build an in-house database of ergonomic dimensions.

WKII: Meeting the HFE Expectations, Regulations, and Standards of a Global Marketplace 

Sunday, March 26 | 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Michael Wiklund, Emergo by UL
Jenny Collinson, Emergo by UL


This workshop will address the needs of human factors practitioners who seek a deeper understanding of HFE requirements upheld in major markets for healthcare technology.  These markets include but are not limited to the United States, the 27 member nations of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, Australia, and Canada.


The workshop will review the history of how individual nations’ guidances and internationally driven standards have evolved since the late 1990s. For example, attendees will learn that China’s NMPA recently published its own guidelines for applying HFE to medical devices, just as FDA first wrote its own guidance for the same purpose in the early 2000s. Moreover, attendees will learn the difference between meeting a nation’s particular standard of care for applying HFE, and where there is an expectation to meet a national version of the International Electrotechnical Committee’s HFE standard called IEC 62366-1.

WKIII: A Crash Course on Cognitive Ergonomics Applied to Healthcare 

Sunday, March 26 | 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm 

Russ Branaghan, PhD, Research Collective
Emily A. Hildebrand, PhD, Research Collective
Joseph R. Pauszek, PhD, Research Collective


Despite researching, testing, and designing cognitive tools for use by healthcare providers, patients and caregivers, many healthcare human factors practitioners have never taken a university-level class in cognitive psychology or cognitive science. Moreover, while much of the material in those traditional classes is useful to human factors practitioners, some of it is not. This workshop will discuss how the mind works, separating the HF wheat from the chaff. It addresses human cognitive capabilities and limitations, as well as their implications for design.

WKIV: Show Me, Don’t Tell Me: A Contextual Inquiry Workshop

Sunday, March 26 | 9:00 am – 4:30 pm with 1.5 hour break (lunch on own) 

Keith Karn, PhD, Human Factors in Context

Jeff Morang, BlackHägen Design


Contextual inquiry includes observation and interviewing techniques originally developed by anthropologists. These techniques can help us gain insights about people, the products and systems that they use, the tasks they are trying to accomplish, and the environments (physical, social, & technical aspects) in which they live and work.  This workshop is a concentrated course on how to conduct contextual inquiry to have the greatest positive impact on the development of medical devices and healthcare systems. Specifically, the workshop will review how to plan and execute a study and how to analyze, synthesize, and translate findings from contextual inquiry in the healthcare domain. The FDA and IEC have recognized the inherent value of contextual inquiry as an integral part of developing medical devices and successful user experiences. Many products and systems have benefited greatly from applying contextual inquiry during the generative concept and feasibility phases of product and system development. This workshop will discuss applying contextual inquiry in both clinical and home environments.

WKV: Drug Delivery and Medical Device Human Factors:  A Primer for Students


Complimentary for Student Members 

Sunday, March 26 | 9:00 am – 4:30 pm with 1.5 hour break (lunch on own) 


Shannon Clark, UserWise
Denise Forkey, UserWise
Anthony Andre, PhD, Interface Analysis Associates


This workshop will introduce students to the world of healthcare human factors and promote their entry into this exciting and growing field. The workshop will cover the following topics with the goal of enabling students to enter the healthcare HF industry.

  • Current opportunities

  • The FDA HF guidance and its impact on our profession.

  • Typical phases of an HF validation program

  • Application to drug delivery devices (combination drug products)

  • Application to medical devices

  • Risk-based approaches to HF

  • Design of devices, instructions and labeling

  • Latest trends and future opportunities

  • How to prepare for a professional career in healthcare HF

  • Q&A

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