First, do no harm doesn't apply just to doctors—designers of medical packaging should also heed that dictum. "A badly designed package or device can make a person feel even sicker than he or she actually is, or it can give that impression to others around him or her," writes Dan Formosa of Smart Design in an article titled "The Future of Home Healthcare: Searching for Extreme Usability."
Formosa stresses the role that device and packaging design play in patient compliance in this article published on emdt.co.uk. "Medical devices that blatantly look like medical devices can be intimidating. The patient may be the only person to use the device, but he or she may not be the only person to see it. The same is true of packaging. Visual impact can’t be ignored," writes Formosa.
Although it may be a bit off-putting to talk about aesthetic appeal in this context, a poorly designed device or packaging can lead a patient to "hide it in a closet, as opposed to keeping it in a more-accessible place, which can encourage use. Visual appearance can also affect the willingness of the patient to bring the device when he or she travels," notes Formosa. Even first impressions, printed materials or websites can predispose the patient to behaviour patterns that may not be in the best interest of that patient’s future health, he cautions.
Formosa makes many other equally insightful observations in this article. Recommended reading!