How we create excellent products
Product thinking, ideas, creation, realisation
The heart of CoRehab is the design and development of products that improve the quality of rehabilitation for both professionals and patients. Since we started we have set a work method that involves continuous comparison with industry professionals and the collection of patient feedback.
For no reason we want to place on the market products, or even just software updates, that have not been thoroughly tested and that have not been immediately corrected during development, based on customer requests and observed during tests.
As a starting point let’s make a distinction between what happens during the creation of a new product, before it is placed on the market, and the modification or updating of a product already supplied by customers. Let’s go with order.
Creating a new product from scratch is a truly compelling adventure. The process starts from the idea, from understanding that customers need a solution to a problem that our technology can help solve. Very often the customer does not know that there can be a solution to a problem that he finds every day.
In this regard, the quote by Steve Jobs is famous: “Our job is to imagine what the customer will want, even before he does it himself. Henry Ford once said:” If I asked to the customers what they wanted, they would have replied: “A faster horse!” “People do not know what they want, until you make them understand it. That’s why I never relied on market research. Our task is read things before they go to the page. “
This sentence makes it clear that to solve a problem for people you should not ask them directly what they want, how much more to observe them in action and do research.
“Our job is to imagine what the customer will want, even before he does it himself.”
We too, in our own small way, have observed how our customers have become accustomed to documenting a patient’s assessment by paper or to performing an inefficient treatment, without knowing that technology can improve the quality of his work in terms of quality , efficiency and speed. Clearly there are resistance to be overcome and barriers to overcome, but this is part of the game of those who make and promote innovation to improve the status quo.
In contact with physiotherapists, doctors and movement professionals in general we have often seen that our technology could have made their everyday work with patients better and more efficient, freeing up time and resources for more suitable tasks.
For example, after introducing Riablo, already a great innovation in itself, we observed that in orthopedic clinics even a simpler tool would be enough to allow people to do the exercises even in bed quickly, independently and providing documentation that exercise was really done. For this reason Kari was born. None of our customers had come to mind, but when we conceived and told it, it seemed obvious to everyone that our research and development went in that direction.
This is where the study of the experience you want to offer to your customers is inserted. Product thinking at the base of this process allows us to outline a set of features of a simple, beautiful and easy to use product that simplifies the life of the user. Thinking about the product means thinking about the specific problems of the user, the jobs to be done, the goals and the revenues that it can generate.
The user’s main experience is not based on the set of features of a product, but on how that product performs the main function for which the user has chosen the product.
For example, the experience of users who choose Uber is “take a taxi easily at any time”. The countdown showing when exactly the taxi will arrive is a function that expands this experience, but Uber’s product will work independently of this function. On the other hand, the countdown cannot exist without a product: this is why in this phase of design thinking we aim to think first of the product, creating what is called the Minimum Viable Product (or MVP).
“Once the idea is shared with the potential user, it is a matter of putting it into practice.”
In our application case, an MVP is created to be used in the department by physiotherapists and patients. At that point, users can express their doubts, their doubts or simply reveal their difficulties with behavior during use that makes us aware of the necessary improvements.
Always taking Kari as an example, once we brought the first MVP to some orthopedic clinics, we realized that there was no place to put the tablet in the rehabilitation gym or next to the bed. For this reason it was necessary to provide a supporting structure together with the tablet to allow operators to work with the patient. Nothing to do with the software or the sensors or the bands, but simply a tool that helps the use of the product in the case of actual use.
At the same time, we realized that the creation of a sequence of exercises for the rehabilitation of the hip prosthesis or knee prosthesis, the automatic ordering of the exercises that our cloud web application provides, had to be done in a way that favored the minor possible number of changes of position for the patient, starting from the supine up to the standing position. On the other hand, the ergonomics of using a medical product is fundamental because this can really solve inefficiency problems for physiotherapists and represent a real evolution in the way of working.
All these features demonstrate how thinking about products helps develop successful features. By clearly defining the problems that the product faces, it is possible to answer the question “why are we creating this product?”, To outline a target (“who has these problems?”) And finally to clarify a solution (“how are we doing this?” ). By clearly answering these questions, you can subsequently create new features that improve the experience of use of the end customer and user.
” The product will therefore not only be usable and designed to solve concrete problems following the design process described, but also in compliance with current legislation”
When the product has passed the product thinking phase, all the questions above have been addressed and clear answers are given, the product is finalized, inserting all the features that are necessary and those that enrich the customer experience. , without creating barriers.
At this point with a product in your hands the whole process must be documented and formalized. From the initial creation to the writing of the code, up to the choice of a physical device rather than another one, the medical devices directive must be respected according to the class assigned by the notifying body, that is the organization that controls and certifies the companies according to the decrees law on product safety and reliability.
When all the documentation supplied is accepted, a check is carried out at the manufacturer’s premises, in which all the procedures for product safety are checked and the product is registered in the database of the Ministry of Health among the devices of the category assigned.
All this allows us first and all our customers to be sure then that every single product we create complies with the standards in force for electromedical devices. The product will therefore not only be usable and designed to solve concrete problems following the design process described, but also in compliance with current legislation, and therefore safe for customers and patients. From creative work to bureaucracy, this is in short the challenge we face every day with passion to create useful and effective products.
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Home rehabilitation with Kari, the medical device that allows physiotherapists to follow patients at a distance in rehabilitation exercises