The Development of Emerging Medical Devices: The Lead-User Method in Practice

Brian O’Flaherty (University College Cork, Ireland) and John O’Donoghue (University College Cork, Ireland)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 133
EISBN13: 9781609603182|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-609-4.ch006
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This case study explores the application of the Lead-user method in the development of medical applications based on Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) technology by three independent research teams. This exercise produced surprising results, with the emergence of diverse WSN technology product concepts applied to Geriatric Falls Detection & Analysis, Sport Cardiac Screening and Critical Care Vital signs within accident and emergency environments. This case highlights the segmented nature of medical areas and the difficulty in applying a generic WSN technology to meet the functional requirements of the broader individual medical domains. It questions the appropriateness of applying ‘total’ highly functional technologies broadly across highly specialised niche medical areas.
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