Mobile devices and use-related risk

PUBLISHED 27th September 2018

ONdrugDELIVERY just published a piece by me on wearable medical devices. In the article I argue that use-related risk assessments for mobile devices should include an assessment of ‘detectability’.

Detectability is often used in risk assessments in other fields such as oil and gas, but have not routinely been used in the medical field for various reasons. The wearer of mobile technologies (i.e. the patient) is not a passive part of the system. If they are alerted to potential problems early enough they may be able to take appropriate action and to stay safe. User interfaces (UI) with good detectability are therefore inherently safer than ones in which error states are difficult to detect.


The user is in a more empowered state if they are consciously aware of a problem, and it is the responsibility of manufacturers to ensure that error states are communicated effectively to the user in a timely manner. Not only that, the UI must guide the user away from hazard and towards safety.

The full article can be found in the Setpember 2018 edition of ONdrugDELIVERY; the link is here…