The purchase of a medical device from among several candidates is a common undertaking in which clinical engineering will hopefully play an important role. Inherent to this process is a comparison across multiple variables or attributes of the devices and an assessment of which device is best overall. Similar comparisons may occur in choosing service options or other support functions such as connectivity solutions or cyber security. Depending on the number of variables and the number of options, this type of comparison can be relatively easy or it may involve trade-offs in which one device appears superior in 1 or more areas but a different one is superior in different areas. Making a rational decision, explaining it, and defending it in such a situation can be difficult. A structured decision-making process can simplify (but perhaps over simplify) this kind of selection. One such method is described here.
William A. Hyman, ScD, is a professor emeritus of biomedical engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and is an adjunct professor of biomedical engineering at The Cooper Union in New York, New York.
Corresponding author: William A. Hyman, ScD, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University, Building 3120 TAMU, College Station, TX 78403-3120. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
William A. Hyman is emeritus professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He is also an adjunct professor of biomedical engineering at The Cooper Union in New York, New York.
The author declares no conflicts of interest.