My role on this project: UX Design and Research
Where to begin?
I’m currently working with a company called UPMC Enterprises (UPMCE), based in Pittsburgh, PA. Our company is an innovation branch of a large hospital system: these types of companies are increasingly common today. The program I work with is called Next Generation imaging and we’re focused on creating tools for radiologists.
What do you think of when you think of radiology today and how radiologist work? You might think of something like this. This is a radiologist in front of a light box illuminating what’s called plain film: it is just what it sounds like: a film print out of an X-ray. These are mostly used for things like like broken bones or fractures. Radiology has changed a lot since it was invented over a century ago.
Today there are many specialties of radiologists within medical imaging and those specialties use machines like CT scanners and MRIs, which can produce hundreds of images in just a few minutes.
Apart from using business logic and digital medical imaging, a few new technologies are coming into play. There’s a big leap forward taking place right now and we’re hearing that the industry will change dramatically in the next ten years. Algorithms, Natural language processing, Machine Learning and Deep Learning are impacting what software companies are designing today to support radiologists.
Research is a big part of our work. Our program is collaborative and involves regular observation and prototype testing with working radiologists. These experiences keep our work grounded in a unique context: we work with professionals who are all super-users in a sense. It’s important to create a balanced system without colors that are over saturated (radiologists often work in low light conditions) and to make sure critical information is prioritized and actionable.
I’ve already learned some valuable lessons about working in this domain. It’s quirky and a a very, very deep well of knowledge that you could spend a lifetime trying to take in. Check out the first of my writings recording a few Lessons Learned: