ergonomics in medical design

ergonomics is an important part of medical and healthcare design. usually associated with occupational health, it also plays a vital role in medical technology. taking psychological and physiological human factors such as for example user experience in account enhances comfort and safety of a patient as well as enables more efficient processes for medical staff.


soaric dental treatment unit, developed by our japanese f/p design team for morita, can be an excellent example of the implementation of ergonomic principles in medical technology design.


the award-winning dental unit offers an incomparably wide range of system components: a patient chair with a one-piece seat, or a folding leg rest for patients with restricted movement, a dental tray with a floor-mounted or mast-mounted arm and much more. soaric stands out on account of its plethora of ergonomic innovations: the individually programmable foot control, the effortless pick-up and release of instruments, the integrable microscope with a networked monitor or the user-friendly lcd touch display interface on the dental tray.

fritz frenkler on medical design

“the closer instruments are used on or in humans, the more ergonomics and psychology must be taken into account. facilities and equipment that a patient may not trust, or that are too restrictive can result in the healing process taking longer. design is an important factor for the doctor, the patient and the technology to interact successfully.”


read the full interview 

prof. dr. phil. klaus bengler, chair for ergonomics, tum

“in order to place products successfully on the market, they must meet modern demands for comfort. three essential aspects determine a comfortable product: the first is the so-called environmental comfort, which includes acoustics (“quiet”), vibrations (“low vibration”) and climate (“pleasant”). the second relates to the dimensions: the spatial conditions and the forces to be absorbed must be appropriate to the conditions of the human body. this is summarised under the term anthropometric design. in addition, the flow of information between human and machine (compatibility, coding of displays and control elements) is a key issue. simple, intuitive operation, unambiguous feedback and a low probability of error are the objectives. with the presented data sources, methods, manikins and simulation procedures, appropriate predictions can be made for different groups of people already at the design stage.”


frenkler, f., 2020. der bericht. industrial design an der technischen universitaet muenchen.


for more information, you can download the book here.