Usability testing of new Auckland HEMS packs

By Dr Chris Denny, Auckland HEMS Medical Director


New packs for Auckland HEMS

In the early days of Auckland HEMS, we loosely ‘bolted on’ our equipment to the existing paramedic gear. As time passed and we forged a strong collaborative relationship with our paramedic colleagues, the performance gap in our gear required a solution. One year ago we held an ‘Ergonomic Equipment Exercise’, led by Dr. Samantha Bendall (on sabbatical from Sydney, NSW). From this evening of pack testing we learned to focus on integration. Several design concepts guided our work:

a) Functional coherence
b) Facilitation of communication
c) Facilitation of task accomplishment
d) Adaptable space
We are now testing our prototype packs.
This testing will move through three phases:
Phase I: ‘Kicking the tyres”
Phase II: Simulation-based usability testing (carrying the packs, winching the packs, airway tasks, vascular access tasks, splinting tasks,…)
Phase III: Live operational testing
Here is a valuable website:
ARHT paramedic Rob Gemmell winches with one of the packs

ARHT paramedic Rob Gemmell winches with one of the packs

We are very keen to learn from the HEMS community. What are other services using? What works? What is the future of PHARM medical equipment going to look like?

Please share your thoughts using the ‘comments’ section below, or the  ‘contact’ button on the home page of this site.

3 thoughts on “Usability testing of new Auckland HEMS packs

  1. Well done! This subject deserves rigor. At MedSTAR we have been through this process and are now using V3.1!!

    My advice:
    Modules should be based on procedures (eg shouldnt need to open more than one module to start an IV or do a finger thoracostomy)
    Like modules should be grouped together
    All modules should be individually sealed
    Im happy to provide more detail. Feel free to email me back

    Cheers, Tingles.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Exceptional work integrating your gear. I am an anaesthesia reg and hopefully will be doing some retrieval in the future. I have always been curious why more crews haven’t picked up on the idea of integrating vents, vital signs monitors and pumps into one unit.
    The US military seems to have put a bit of effort into this.

    I think with space at a premium it might be a reasonable next step?

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

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