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Design for Health - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128164273, 9780128166215

Design for Health

1st Edition

Applications of Human Factors

Editors: Arathi Sethumadhavan Farzan Sasangohar
Paperback ISBN: 9780128164273
eBook ISBN: 9780128166215
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 29th January 2020
Page Count: 400
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Design for Health: Applications of Human Factors delves into critical and emergent issues in healthcare and patient safety and how the field of human factors and ergonomics play a role in this domain. The book uses the Design for X (DfX) methodology to discuss a wide range of contexts, technologies, and population dependent criteria (X’s) that must be considered in the design of a safe and usable healthcare ecosystem. Each chapter discusses a specific topic (e.g., mHealth, medical devices, emergency response, global health, etc.), reviews the concept, and presents a case study that demonstrates how human factors techniques and principles are utilized for the design, evaluation or improvements to specific tools, devices, and technologies (Section 1), healthcare systems and environments (Section 2), and applications to special populations (Section 3).

The book represents an essential resource for researchers in academia as well as practitioners in medical device industries, consumer IT, and hospital settings. It covers a range of topics from medication reconciliation to self-care to the artificial heart.

Key Features

  • Uses the Design for X (DfX) methodology
  • A case study approach provides practical examples for operationalization of key human factors principles and guidelines
  • Provides specific design guidelines for a wide range of topics including resilience, stress and fatigue management, and emerging technologies
  • Examines special populations, such as the elderly and the underserved
  • Brings a multidisciplinary, multi-industry approach to a wide range of healthcare human factors issues


Psychologists, engineers, and designers. Researchers, product developers, and decision-makers in medical device industries, consumer IT, and hospitals. Can be used as a text in courses on Healthcare Human Factors, Healthcare Engineering, and Health Safety

Table of Contents

Section 1: Devices, Tools, and Healthcare IT

1. Designing for Medical Device Safety

Russell J. Branaghan, Emily A. Hildebrand and L. Bryant Foster

2. Designing for Medication Safety

Sadaf Kazi, Allen R. Chen and Nicole L. Mollenkopf

3. Design for Digital Health

Joseph A. Cafazzo

4. Design for eHealth and Telehealth

Dena Al-Thani, Savio Monteiro and Lakshman S. Tamil

5. Design of Mobile Health Technology

Plinio Pelegrini Morita

6. Design for Effective Care Collaboration

Patrice Dolhonde Tremoulet, Susan Harkness Regli and Ramya Krishnan

Section 2: Healthcare Systems

7. Design for Critical Care

D. Kirk Hamilton

8. Design for Emergencies

Yuval Bitan

9. Design for Resilience

Lisa Sundahl Platt

10. Design for Collaborative Work

Rachel E. Mason and Ashley M. Hughes

11. Design for Stress, Fatigue, and Workload Management

Joseph K. Nuamah and Ranjana K. Mehta

12. Design for Cognitive Support

L.C. Schubel, N. Muthu, D.J. Karavite, R. Arnold and K.M. Miller

13. Design for Improved Workflow

Mustafa Ozkaynak, Blaine Reeder, Sun Young Park and Jina Huh-Yoo

14. Design for Self-Care

Victor P. Cornet, Carly Daley, Luiz H. Cavalcanti, Amit Parulekar and Richard J. Holden

Section 3: Special Population

15. Design for Inclusivity

Natalie C. Benda, Enid Montague and Rupa S. Valdez

16. Design for Global Health

Alessandra N. Bazzano and Shirley D. Yan

17. Design of Health Information and Communication Technologies for Older Adults

Christina N. Harrington, lyndsie Marie Koon and Wendy A. Rogers


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2020
29th January 2020
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editors

Arathi Sethumadhavan

Arathi Sethumadhavan is the Head of User Research of Ethics & Society in Cloud+AI at Microsoft, where she is responsible for bringing the perspectives of traditionally disempowered and neglected communities into shaping products. Key technology areas include AI across speech, computer vision, face recognition, and mixed reality. Prior to joining Microsoft, she worked at Medtronic, where she provided human factors leadership to multiple products in the Cardiac Rhythm and Heart Failure portfolio, including the world’s smallest pacemaker. She has also spent several years investigating the implications of automation on air traffic controller performance and situation awareness. She has published numerous articles on a range of topics from patient safety, affective computing, and human-robot interaction, has delivered nearly 50 talks at national and international conferences, and been recognized by the American Psychological Foundation, the American Psychological Association, and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Arathi has a PhD in Human Factors Psychology from Texas Tech University and an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Calicut University.

Affiliations and Expertise

Microsoft, Redmond, WA, United States

Farzan Sasangohar

Farzan Sasangohar, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering as well as Environmental and Occupational Health at Texas A&M University. He is also a Scientist and Assistant Professor at the Houston Methodist Hospital’s Center for Outcomes Research and Department of Surgery. Prior to joining TAMU, he worked as the Manager of Design Research at TD Bank and as a Research Scientist at MIT AeroAstro. He has experience designing, developing, and evaluating human-systems in different domains such as aviation, process control, surface transportation, finance, and health care. Farzan has received a PhD in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2015, an SM in Engineering Systems from MIT in 2011, a MASc and BCS in Systems Design Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Waterloo in 2010 and 2007, and a BA in Information Technology from York University in 2009. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and his research, teaching, and service have received national and international recognition. Farzan's research interests include remote health and performance monitoring, system resilience and safety, and user-centered design.

Affiliations and Expertise

Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX, United States


"It might be said human factors and ergonomics (HFE) emerged into a fully recognizable field of research and practice during World War II. Over the past 80 years, there have been identifiable shifts in global foci for HFE work. Initially, these included a concentration on examination of human operators of military systems (complex weapons, command and control centers, the performance of combatants, and so forth). Concentration shifted to transportation systems (aviation, automotive, even spacecraft), followed closely by information and computer systems, computer-user interactions, artificial intelligence, robotics, and others. Now comes a focus on human health care systems, medical diagnosis and treatment, and the design of safe and efficacious health care systems. Marilyn Sue Bogner, an HFES Fellow, issued her clarion cry for human factors practitioners to join in the campaign to help prevent medical error (Bogner, 1994, 2004). The Institute of Medicine (IOM, 2000) solidified the concerns when it published its report To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, suggesting as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die each year and more than 1 million patients are injured as a result of medical errors in hospitals. That report called for a national agenda to reduce medical errors and improve patient safety through the design of a safer health system. A follow-up IOM report stressed patient safety should be a new standard for quality care, calling for comprehensive national health care information standards (IOM, 2004). Another report, Preventing Medication Errors (IOM, 2007), solidified more safety concerns. Sethumadhavan and Sasanghohar point out that since these and other reports sounded the alarm, recent health care transformations implemented technological advances that not only push the capabilities of care, but significantly increase the complexity of tasks, environments, and human system integration. No one has produced such a comprehensive and wide-reaching coverage of the topic as Design for Health does. In somewhat of a something for everyone approach, the book includes chapters by numerous international authors, providing comprehensive coverage of design issues for medical devices, tools, and health care information technology (e.g.,medication safety, digital health, telehealth, mobile health technology); health care systems (designed for critical care in intensive care units, emergencies, resilient systems, collaborative work, stress, fatigue, workload and cognitive support); considerations for special populations (e.g., older adults); and design for global health and more. Almost all the 17 chapters provide valuable lessons learned case studies as examples of identifying medical safety issues and resolving them. Within the numerous chapters, descriptions of various topics will no doubt prompt discussions on the depth of coverage, the accuracy of statements made, and even produce mild controversy over perspectives espoused. An issue that caught my attention appears in Yuval Bitan’s Chapter 8, Design for Emergencies, wherein he focuses on mass casualty incidents (e.g., a train wreck) in which the first paramedic on the scene must act as incident commander and must follow certain protocols. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security adopts this model in its popular Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training of public volunteers for emergency response. Bitan identifies three pillars in medical emergency settings (environment, human operator, and equipment). He says while we call this user-centered design, it is the equipment and not the user being designed. We cannot control the environment, thus equipment is the only system component we can actually design or influence. It is a thought-provoking chapter, but Bitan seems to give insufficient credence to community preparations and planning for emergencies, and for human operators to be adequately trained and practiced for response. Since 2012, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) has annually held a spring symposium on medical care systems – allowing opportunities to share findings, ideas, establish collaborations in subsequent research, and so on. The symposium proceedings solidify foundation approaches to what is obviously a very complicated/complex focus for HFE work. So important are these shifts, in March 2021, HFES announced the creation of a new HFES open-source journal Human Factors in Healthcare (Elsevier), intending to cover both research and application. No doubt, the new focus on the design of health care systems has been given a kick in the pants due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout 2020 and 2021, we have learned lessons about the emergency use and the adequacy of old and new medical equipment (e.g., use of facial masks, shields, gowns, other personal protective equipment, ventilators, etc.) and infection protection, protective care procedures for hospital patients and staff, developing quarantines, handling of patients in new and different ways, and so forth. This book is a must for anyone involved in design or implementation of health care systems in our country and globally." --Human Factor and Ergonomics Society, 2020,Gerald P. Krueger, reviewer, expert opinion

"Having the capacity to cover topics ranging from medication reconciliation all the way to self-care of the artificial heart is an ambitious goal. I believe this tightly written volume offers a lot to readers tasked with both design and evaluation of health-relevant systems." --Doody

"No doubt, the new focus on the design of health care systems has been given a kick in the pants due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout 2020 and 2021, we have learned lessons about the emergency use and the adequacy of old and new medical equipment (e.g., use of facial masks, shields, gowns, other personal protective equipment, ventilators, etc.) and infection protection, protective care procedures for hospital patients and staff, developing quarantines, handling of patients in new and different ways, and so forth. This book is a must for anyone involved in design or implementation of health care systems in our country and globally." --Gerald P. Krueger, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, October 2021

"This book is the rare example of fundamental academic literature paired with practitioner-oriented advice. Topics cover the spectrum of designing for health, from consideration of devices and systems to the individual needs of patients and healthcare providers. Each chapter contains a case study written by an expert in the field that is engaging and brings the research to life. Sethumadhavan and Sasangohar, with their many years of experience in design for health, have brought together an impressive group of scientists to create a cohesive and approachable book for researchers, designers, human factors practitioners, and healthcare professionals." --Anne Collins McLaughlin, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, North Carolina State University

"This book illustrates how practitioners and researchers have used the human factors approach to solve problems at different levels of the health care system. The case study format used in the book provides a very unique and inside-perspective on the challenges involved in healthcare and how they were addressed. Each chapter clearly illustrates how the human factors approach can adapt to address different issues, populations, and systems. Ranging from issues encountered from consumer-oriented perspective up to the health care system itself, the book is a valuable and comprehensive resource for anyone interested in creative applications of human factors to complex problems." --Richard Pak, Professor, Clemson University

Ratings and Reviews