Mobile health design: "Consumery" vs. function

By Brian Dolan
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corventis3UPDATE: Corventis and Speck have retracted the press release this story pulled from because of some inaccurate statements Speck's representatives made about the Corventis device. Here's Corventis' statement:

"Corventis and Speck worked together on industrial design concepts related to research prototypes for our wireless cardiovascular solution pipeline. Although our engagement has since concluded, we are not at liberty to disclose further details due to confidentiality and contractual obligations."

Speck issued an apology, too: "Speck Design wishes to retract the press release entitled 'Speck Design Helps Corventis Predict Heart Failure' due to inaccurate statements and false claims made by Speck Design. In addition, Speck wishes to clarify that the project with Corventis was focused on a research prototype unrelated to heart failure or the company’s commercial products. Speck deeply regrets these errors and apologizes for misstating the facts."

The original story continues below:

Wireless remote monitoring company Corventis announced that Speck Design was the firm that helped create the look and feel of the Corventis PiiX wireless, water-resistant sensor, which sticks to a patient’s chest and monitors heart rate, respiratory rate, bodily fluids, and overall activity.

Silicon Valley-based Speck stated that it has created and designed a number of remote monitoring devices this year, including two revisions for Corventis' PiiX monitor.

“From the user’s standpoint, the important focus is how people interact with the device. Data gathered is useful, but when you are unable to use the device intuitively the purpose is degraded.” Tark Abed, Creative Director, Speck Design stated in a company release.

Corventis PiiX System

“An issue we had to consider is the fact that humans are wearing these things. That means that the devices ‘live’ in a far less of a controlled environment than in the hospital. Companies want the devices to feel more ‘consumery’. And from our point of view, the more like a consumer device that it is forced to look like, the harder it is to design in the performance effectively.” Shigeru Tanaka, Engineering Manager for the Medical Systems Group. “There are also concerns with this kind of monitoring. Things fail, simple as that. If there is a crash you can lose data, or worse, patient confidence. The second concern is the trend for the doctor to be distanced from the patient; in their effort to scale we could lose some of the intuition and human contact. We overcame these with an extremely robust, reliable design.”

Continue on for the entire press release

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