General Electric (GE) isthe world’s largest industrial conglomerate, engaged in science &technology, manufacturing and services, etc. GE Healthcare, as one of GE’s fourbusiness groups, has annual global sales of up to USD 16 billion and is aglobal leader in sectors such as medical imaging, information technology,medical diagnostics, patient testing and monitoring, disease research, drugR&D and biopharmaceuticals.
Despite a fairly largemarket share in China, GE Healthcare also faces fierce competition.
This was a largemultinational company’s first R&D project for medical device software inChina. Although there was a fairly clear market segment at that time, weneither had clear target customers, nor understood their needs, which broughtmuch uncertainty to the product development. So, GE invited TANG to pinpointthe target customers using the method of customer experience.
Thorough field research inhospitals
We visited 25 hospitals (13third-level hospitals and 12 second-level hospitals) in 11 cities and conductedqualitative research on 137 customers (76 senior technicians, 45 youngtechnicians and 16 interns). In each hospital, we spent three days observing theX-ray Room and patient-related medical procedures without influencingtechnicians’ work or patients’ privacy in outpatient and emergency departments.We also interviewed technicians, random patients, outpatient doctors andrelevant hospital leaders to understand the use of medical equipment undercertain conditions, discover the problems that users encounter during the useand explore their fundamental needs.
Restoring treatment and theX-ray imaging ecosystem
We depicted a patient’s transferin the hospital, imaging technicians’ transfer throughout the imaging processand the patient’s information flow in the hospital’s different systems inaccordance with the patient’s actual treatment process, and finally draw up atreatment and imaging ecosystem diagram to help follow-up the design withaccurate positioning from an overall perspective.
Defining the role of users
The categories of userswere determined based on their characteristics gained through field research.The users of this medical product were finally classified into five categoriesand five user archives were created. To further focus on the product, we chose threecategories of users who had the highest priority and created their roles basedon their basic description, attitudes, behaviors and interaction with theproduct.
Creating a clear, refinedX-ray machine UI system by referring to digital photographic scenes andsimplifying the operating process
We analyzed allefficiency-related issues in the whole ecosystem from the doctors’ andpatients’ perspectives and simplified it by reducing unnecessary operations,reorganizing the sequence of all operations and removing useless steps.
To further improve the useefficiency, we optimized some details based on design simplification, such ashelping users memorize key information, providing prompts, clear systemfeedback, designing a proper interaction method, tolerating unpredictable breaks in the process and avoiding users’ operational errors.
During producttransformation, we’ve maintained consistency of the product’s overall framework,all operating procedures, interfaces and visual presentation to ensure asystematic, "easy-to-operate" experience throughout the process.
Finally, we visually transformedthe original language-based interfaces to help Chinese doctors in a moreintuitive way. Meanwhile, a color system specific to medical equipment was setup to better integrate visual interfaces, product styles and brand attributes.
TANG’s understanding of Chinesemarkets and consumers and its professional research and design capabilities arethe main reasons why we chose them as our partner. TANG’s team integrated intothe medical sector in a short time and finally came up with a satisfactorysystematic design plan. I am deeply impressed by the unified communication andcooperation between the two teams.
Xiaopeng Yu, Director-New Product Introduction, Global Primary Care P&L, GE