Alaris invented the IV controller decades ago as IVAC, and has remained the global innovation leader in Smart Infusion Systems.
As their first Director of Design, I helped Alaris institutionalize User Centered Design, and directed several next-gen conceptual projects. These projects included ethnographic research, rapid-prototyping of hardware and software, and extensive global iterative research.
The process I created was institutionalized as part of it's world-class Global Development Process.
In 2003 Alaris had a hit on their hands with their modular smart-pump system, and quickly toppled Baxter to become market leader. But a sequel seemed out of reach: what did clinicians really need?
Questions lingered about the value of modularity and the increasing complexity of IV therapy. Advanced technologies like Target-Controlled-Infusion loomed. Hospital IT systems were helping improve the safety of medication management. Tensions rose between the technologists and the nurses, and analysis-paralysis ensued.
To chart a course forward, Alaris turned to consultants like IDEO and Cooper, who encouraged them to institutionalize Design. I was brought in from Motorola to start up a team. For the next five years, I would introduce Design Thinking methods while directing numerous global infusion programs, including a new Epidural module, and mid-tier offerings.
In the Discovery phase I instituted Ethnographic research where previously they had relied on internal SME’s. In the Definition phase I instituted Work Models and Concept Frameworks where previously they had relied on executive opinion. In the Design phase I expanded the use of Rapid Prototyping added global consultants like Ziba Design.
These methods were codified in our Global Development process, heavily inspired and in compliance with HE74 and the Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990 (Quality System 820.30.)
Concept work included rethinking the entire medication dispensing system. With the advantage of our Pyxis business, we could start to standardize containers and delivery mechanisms to improve safety and clinician efficiency.
Alaris continues to maintain its top market position as the safest, most comprehensive infusion system.
The UX Design organization I created persists at CareFusion today (now part of BD), where work continues on Next-Generation Infusion systems.