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Human Factors and Usability for Medical Devices Workshop 2018

November 6, 2017

Human Factors for medical devices and drug delivery devices is a rapidly growing sector which continues to see increasing demand for Human Factors expertise. At the Human Factors Centre, we believe that sharing knowledge is key to keeping the industry moving.


Whether it is staying up to date with changing regulatory requirements or discovering new techniques and methodologies, there is a need to keep track of developments in this rapidly evolving area.


The Human Factors world is full of knowledge but all too often it remains tacit or hidden and receives limited exposure. We believe that knowledge sharing underpins growth in this sector and there is a duty to share our experiences when working on safety-critical systems.


We are running a 1-day workshop event in 2018 and are currently looking for expressions of interest from both delegates and speakers.


Learn, Share and Network


Over recent years, we have seen increasing interest from Human Factors experts with regard to knowledge sharing and networking. As it stands, the Human Factors and Usability Engineering community in Europe is relatively small and Human Factors conferences are not as readily available as they are in the United States.


We feel that there is the opportunity to learn lessons from other sectors and an open, inclusive approach can yield many benefits. Disciplines such as User Experience (UX) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) are taking the world by storm and associated conferences have become very popular. There are a large number of conferences available and topics vary considerably, meaning that most people can find topics of relevance. These conferences are supported by first-hand project specific/industrial experience meaning that delegates find content relevant and aligned with their personal development.


The Human Factors Centre has spent the last 6 months speaking to practitioners and companies to find out what information people feel they are lacking when it comes to Human Factors and Usability.


From speaking to existing practitioners, the following issues continue to be raised:

  • Training courses and conferences are providing information which can be found in the public domain. Such courses and conferences do not relate closely to specific subject matter areas (for example medical conditions or types of device).


  • The regulatory landscape is still evolving and ambiguity in standards still exists. Even though regulatory bodies in Europe and the US are becoming more closely aligned, there are a lot of conflicting messages and uncertainty regarding the approach.


  • Practitioners are still struggling to communicate the importance of Human Factors to their wider company stakeholders (even with regulatory backing). Human Factors continues to be included late in the Project Development Process resulting in ineffective Human Factors work when activities are poorly sequenced. This is continuing to be the cause of project delays. For individuals who are responsible for delivering Human Factors but do not have a Human Factors background, there is still uncertainty about how Human Factors and Usability fits into the overall programme of work and when the right time to test with users is.


  • There is limited information available that provides a detailed account of the methods and approach that will work in practice for a given product. For example, how to bolster formative testing so that it provides results that inform the broader development effort (establishing efficacy as well as usability); how to align with socio-technical approaches; how to work alongside clinical trials; what can and cannot be feasibly tested using Human Factors Engineering / Usability Engineering methods.   

 Who, Where and Why?


Our 2018 workshop event will be aimed at individuals working within medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare start-ups. Our goal is to host an interactive event where practitioners can meet, network and share experiences.


The workshop will be held in London over the course of 1 day. The day will be made up of short presentations, discussions, and workshops aimed at providing experts with a number of opportunities and platforms to get their questions answered.


Want to get involved?


If you are interested in giving a presentation, hosting a discussion session or a workshop please contact us on, we are currently reviewing abstracts and will be doing so until the 6th December 2017.


If you are submitting an abstract to us, please do not submit any more than a 1-page overview of your topic. After we have reviewed all entries we will be in contact with individuals selected to host a session to discuss timelines for submitting full presentation materials.


Interested in attending?


You must register for this event by the 22nd December 2017 to be eligible for early bird discounts please register your interest by contacting No payment information is needed, just let us know your name, contact details and how many places you are interested in. We will then add you to our pre-workshop mailing list and email you when tickets are available and the event line-up and speakers have been announced.


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