NCAD MSc Medical Device Design and RCSI Collaboration
STUDIO / DESIGNER
Leonie Heskin (RCSI); Enda O'Dowd (MSc Joint Course Coordinator, NCAD); Derek Vallence (MSc joint Course Coordinator, NCAD)
Design Education & Research
Contributing students for the projects in the images: 2019: JASON COSTELLO; JUNE GALBARRIARTU ARKETA; HANNAH GROGAN; GERALD HEALY; STEPHEN JOHNSON BARKER; MAIRE KANE; CAIT MC CARTHY; FERGAL MURRAY; JOE O’CONNOR; ADRIANA PERNIOLA; SARAH RONER-REITER; ROCHELLE SCANNELL; PRASHANT SHUKLA; 2018: DARRAGH O’BOYLE; ELEONORE SLATTERY; EOGHAN MC CORMACK; EOIN ORMONDE;HARRY BURNS; JOSEPH HALPIN; KRITTIKA MAHAJAN; LISA FORDE; NATASHA CLARKE; ROBERT MEEHAN; 2017: CRISTINA SIMONA PURTILL; CAROLINA LEONE SKEMAS DE BRITTO; CLODAGH HOGAN; Harry (CONOR)OSBORNE; Arthur Linnane; ERIK JAMES GOULDING; Kieron Men; ORLA TRAINOR; Robert Wylie; Rory West; RYAN PAETZOLD; SEAN TOOMEY; Taufeeq Elahi Diju; Timothy O’ Sullivan; VIVIENNE MC NULTY.
How the brief was fulfilled
The MSc in Medical Device Design at NCAD is an innovative studio based course where students from both creative and technical backgrounds learn to be human centred designers for the medical device industry. Since 2016 we have been collaborating with the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (RCSI). Each year Leonie Heskin (surgical educator in postgraduate surgery) identifies primary needs for a variety of surgical specialties and sets a design brief for a simulator in terms of (surgical) learning outcomes or an aid to motivate practice.
The design students are introduced to the procedure by observing live operating cases and conducting primary and secondary research, mapping out the steps of the task. The students capture the perceptions, cognitions and actions of the surgeon as they execute a procedure and document any potential error points and insights. Building a device to simulate the procedure includes the challenge of matching tissue fidelity with a detailed materials analysis to replicate the properties and tactile sensations of human tissue. In addition, the design students have to consider an increased education effectiveness for the trainee surgeon in terms of learning outcomes and avoiding errors for patient safety.
This collaboration has really found its richness in the multiple designer and surgical feedback sessions during this iterative process and it raised awareness of the value of human centred design for both the designer and the surgeon. The design students become immersed in the importance of human factors in the design of medical devices while the clinical collaborators get a renewed appreciation of the important role which design plays. At the final presentations the innovative surgical task trainers and detailed task analyses are presented to the wider audience at the RCSI. The collaboration is a great example of the synergies that can be achieved when design students work with professionals and educational institutions from other fields.
This design education and research collaboration spans medical device design, surgical trainer design, procedure task analysis, prototyping, and innovation in healthcare practices and processes, and demonstrates the value of bringing medics and designers together to address and solve significant challenges"