Kevin Ten Brink leads the human factors engineering group responsible for optimizing the interface between Ion, Intuitive’s robotic bronchoscope used for minimally invasive lung biopsies, and Ion’s users. Because the product is fairly new to the market, Kevin gets to see the lightbulb going off in a user’s head when they realize what Ion’s smaller catheter and the stability afforded by the robotic arm mean to their work.
Lightbulb moments like that are a direct extension of the design decisions his team influences. The result is a product that allows clinicians to give patients more time and attention because they have to spend less time focusing on the use of a complex piece of equipment. For Kevin, that’s the most rewarding part of working in human factors.
While leading the human factors team at Intuitive, Kevin has also been involved in giving back to the human factors community by presenting at his work at medical device design conferences, co-chairing the medical and drug-delivery device track at the 2019 Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care Symposium, and teaching Human Factors and Usability in Medical Device Development at the University of California Santa Cruz.