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On the complexity of medical devices and systems
  1. J W Senders
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J Senders
 295 Indian Road, Toronto, Ontario M6R 2X5, Canada; jwsenders{at}post.harvard.edu

Abstract

How does one design something that is complex? Or something that is simple? Why should one try to reduce or increase complexity? What is complexity? There are a large number of different uses of the word, including many in mathematics and physics. Most of these are not useful in attempting to fit the word to the problems of the design of systems and devices for medicine. In this paper the concept has been defined to apply to health care, which has led to some conclusions about the future development of medical systems and devices.

  • complexity
  • design
  • patient safety

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: none declared.

  • Based on an oral presentation by the author to the 2nd US/UK Patient Safety Research Methodology Workshop—Safety by Design.

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