Prosthesis - FINSBURY (DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
Advancing prosthetics development with 3D printing
A distinctive feature of prosthetic device development is the need to evaluate the device, not only for the amputee's use but also in terms of how easily and proficiently clinical staff (e.g., prosthetists, therapists) use the device, i.e., staff can fit and setup the device and train amputees in its optimal use. If clinicians find it difficult to prescribe, fit, or configure the prosthetic device or refine the setup and train a patient with it, amputee users may experience greater problems with the device. Thus, it is important to consider clinicians as well as amputees as subjects in usability research studies.
Center for Limb Loss and MoBility
The question of how many subjects is "enough" for usability research is an ongoing issue in usability testing and user interface discussions. In all research, the cost of development and testing must be weighed against the potential benefits of the knowledge to be gained. The expense of manufacturing research and development versions of prototype devices for study and the complexity of using the new devices is a major factor limiting study size. In addition, available research funding for new devices often limits study size. In prosthetics, the amount of time it takes to fit subjects with prosthetic sockets (if necessary) and train them in the use of a new device adds to the cost of conducting such studies. There is a need to balance the costs of producing new devices for testing and/or experimental prosthetic control procedures with having a large enough sample to test for usability.
Industrial Manufacturing Software | Infor
At the later stages of device development, outcome measures need to address broader areas, such as performance of specific tasks and use in everyday activities. Thus, objective measurements, such as timed dexterity tests, often used as outcomes in studies of upper-limb amputees, need to be supplemented by assessments of the amputee's experience to understand which changes "make a real difference in the lives of patients" . Of particular importance in assessment of prosthetic usability is the patient's perspective on the usefulness of the device for performing everyday functions, as well as the comfort and fit of their prosthetic limb, their health-related quality of life, and their mobility.