Medtronic CareLink™ programmer

David Waters, Ian Hewitt

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


Waters was project manager responsible for the design, development and manufacture of the Medtronic CareLink™ programmer. The programmer is a specialised medical computer able to communicate with implanted cardiac devices e.g.: pacemaker, defibrillator, or cardiac resynchronization. It was the worlds first FDA approved programmer to do this. The programmer had to be fully portable, water-resistant and lightweight. It had to enable Consultants to interact with technical experts who could be based anywhere, worldwide. The programmer had to allow real-time viewing of its screen at a location that had a personal computer with Remote View software. Human factors requirements were crucial to the success of this product. The programmer has a large, bright, movable screen providing a wider viewing angle and allowing the screen to be read from greater distances. The screen is three times brighter than previous programmers and can be read by several people simultaneously. The programmer has a built-in keyboard, a three-speed chart recorder, provides single-handed paper loading and is twice the speed of previous programmers. Waters applied his research and product development expertise in medical product development to this project. This was essential to the success of this project. He developed his expertise in cross-cultural collaboration to assist the development of techniques to enable teams from companies across Europe, Asia and the USA to work in close cooperation on real-time federated databases, despite the teams working across several time zones. This research has significantly benefited CfDR’s InSTeP and CMI ERDF projects. Waters research into human factors, specifically in relation to hand held medical product development has augmented the CfDR’s expertise in human centred design. The Medtronic Carelink programmer has been presented in papers at conferences around the world, including the, UK Design Conference Tokyo, 2003, British Council Exhibition Singapore 2005, British Council Design Lecture series, Bangkok 2007
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2002


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