Human factors engineering (HFE) is an encompassing field that examines and aims to improve the efficiency and safety of work systems such as healthcare. As it seeks to expand its presence in the HFE market, Northbrook, Ill.-based UL has begun the acquisition process of Wiklund Research & Design Inc., a life and health sector HFE company based in Concord, Mass. UL deals with safety in various work environments, and the purchase of Wiklund will bolster the company’s life and health business. This will be the third in a series of life and health conformance-related acquisitions in 14 months for UL—the company acquired Medical Device Testing GmbH and MD Registration Services Ltd. (both based in Ochsenhausen, Germany) in August 2011.
The terms of the Wiklund deal were not disclosed.
Wiklund provides user research, design support, evaluation, and training services intended to assure medical device safety and usability. The company also provides testing services structured to help medical device manufacturers verify compliance to North American and European regulatory standards.
“Joining UL is a natural fit for our team, and a significant benefit for our customers,” said Michael Wiklund, founder and president of Wiklund Research & Design. “We are now part of a wider breadth of medical and diagnostic device services, a deeper well of expertise, and the world’s most trusted name in safety.”
Michael Wiklund will manage UL’s human factors engineering operations, and the business will remain headquartered in Concord, which is in the Boston area.
“With the rapid pace of innovation in the life and health industry, manufacturers need a trusted partner to provide global market access and conformance seamlessly throughout the lifecycle of product development,” said Hiroshi Yamaki, president of UL’s life and health business unit. “Human factors engineering was a missing piece for us, and in Wiklund Research & Design, we added one of the industry’s market and thought leaders.”
According to UL, Wiklund complements UL’s existing file construction, analytical testing, risk management, and quality system offerings, and will fill out UL’s line of testing, conformance delivery, design support, and advisory services for medical and diagnostic device manufacturers.