Systematic Innovation by User-centered Design: Case Study in Ampoule Opener Design


  • Po-Hsiang Liu Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, St. John's University
  • Ching-Wen Lien Nursing Department, Taipei Veterans General Hospital



About 90.3% of nurses reported to have experienced the sharp injuries and about 37.6% of nurses occurred more than one time sharp injuries by opening the glass ampoules during recent 6 months. The sharp, jagged edges formed when the ampoule neck breaks incompletely pose a serious danger to medical professionals. Fingers and hands can be cut from the sharp jagged edge formed where the neck breaks. Ampoule related injuries are frequent and dangerous Thus, present study developed the new ampoule opener by systematic innovation of user-centered design to avoid painful and dangerous sharps injuries. User needs analysis have been conducted from district hospital, regional hospital and medical center medical center. A questionnaire was used to survey the behaviors (tasks of opening ampoule, types of ampoules, user requirements etc.) and sharp injuries while opening glass ampoules. After analyzing patents search, user needs analysis and results of questionnaire survey, present study designed and built the prototype of ampoule opener. Results of ergonomic evaluation showed that applied the ampoule opener had lower EMG activity of forearm and lower ulnar deviation on wrist. This easy-to-use multi-use ampoule opener avoids the unacceptable sharps injury rates seen when ampoules are opened by hand. The findings of this study could provide references to medical personnel in order to prevent and decrease sharp injuries as much as possible. In clinical effectiveness will be further assessed.

Author Biography

Po-Hsiang Liu, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, St. John's University

Po-Hsiang Liu received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Human Factors/Ergonomics from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. He is a Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management and Dean of College of Business and Management at St. John’s University in Taiwan. His research focuses on human factors in product design, workload assessment, and human-computer interaction. He has published a number of papers in Applied Ergonomics, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Industrial Health, Journal of Safety Research, Perceptual and Motor Skills, Transportation Research Part F etc.


2018-08-31 — Updated on 2020-04-17