by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

Medical Device Guidance: Is Partnering with a Third-Party Developer Worth It?

Great ideas are a dime a dozen, as the saying goes. It’s the execution of ideas that determines their long-term success. The same is true for medical device development and medical device guidance, particularly in markets where buyers have plenty of options competing for their dollars.

Reasonably, a medical device that’s steered by a developer with rich market expertise will yield better results than a device whose development is rooted in limited know-how and experience. But is an external development partner worth the investment?

In this post, we explore four considerations for your medical device development, or ways that partnering with a seasoned, impartial developer can pay off in big ways.

Medical Device Guidance

Refining Ideas, Boosting Your Value Proposition

Like any industry, the medical device market is full of hopeful, self-proclaimed innovations that fail to compel users to whip out their credit cards. Creating a device that users will buy, recommend to their patients and peers requires a deep understanding of the user mindset, how they experience the product, and the problems you’re solving for them.

An expert medical device developer helps ensure you’re asking the right questions and considering psychological and physiological principles in your design, for starters. Put another way, they help you think through how humans make buying decisions and use products to create a more compelling offer and experience than your competitors.

(More on product ideation.)

Countering Blind Spots

It’s tough to spot flaws when you’re too close (or personally invested) in your medical device idea. In fact, your expertise can actually hurt you, cautions the Harvard Business Review, citing a decade-long research into top executives.

Two reasons for that: “The first is overconfidence: believing that brilliance in one area leads to competence in another. The second is when deep knowledge and experience leave leaders incurious, blinkered, and vulnerable — even in their own fields,” the author explains.

Put bluntly, blind spots are inevitable when your development team lacks objective insight and real-world experience to overcome market challenges. A reputable development partner can illuminate areas you haven’t considered and pinpoint blind spots before they sink your investment or slow your progress.

Reducing Risks & Uncovering Opportunities

While a zero-risk scenario doesn’t exist, the success of your medical device hinges largely on the level of risk it poses to users.

De-risking considerations include the likelihood and severity of potential hazards, the environment where the device will be used, potential for human error or misuse, supply chain risks, and more. Reasonably, that requires careful testing, risk tracing and mitigation, starting with your prototype.

In looking for ways to reduce risks, your expert device developer can also uncover opportunities to make your device more competitive.

(More on medical device risk reduction.)

Meeting Regulatory Demands

It’s important to know how the FDA classifies your medical device, and what it demands from you. Other regulatory bodies (ISO, ANSI, ASTM) may have additional performance standards you must adhere to.

Your medical device developer can help you assess regulatory considerations so you’re not hit with a costly violation down the road (or worse — hurt a patient). That know-how can also help you discern your acceptable risk level, how much money to invest, and long it will take before you start seeing revenue.

Medical Device Guidance: Expertise as Loss Prevention

All things considered, a reputable medical device development partner is akin to loss prevention, helping you avoid financial, opportunity and reputation hits that could derail your entire investment.

Before attempting to win over your market, ensure you have a winning product. Getting the development of your device right is considerably more economical than launching a flawed product or correcting an oversight post-launch.

>> Related Resource: How to Choose the Right Medical Device Design and Development Partner

>> Follow Us on LinkedIn for Additional Timely Shares on Medical Device Guidance

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

Medical Device Development De-Risking

Risk analysis is an essential component of a Quality Management System (QMS), and a mandatory task for every new medical device set to launch. Medical device development de-risking is best done concurrent with prototyping.

As a medical device start-up, your first priority should be a functional prototype and user feedback. Devices that have been de-risked early on within the initial concept stages and robust clinical trials done are more likely to succeed long-term.

Moreover, it’s important to have guidance from mentors within the industry that understand design for manufacturability, regulatory considerations and device lifecycles. Consultants and collaborative medical device design and development partners, like MedTech Launch, are key to avoiding costly hurdles that may derail or delay your launch process.

De-Risking within Medical Device Development

De-risking within medical device development focuses on risk assessment in the early stages to address critical challenges, rather than avoiding them until late in the project when hurdles could be costly.

The risk assessment phase of product development is critical to the overall health of your new product and preventing unpleasant discoveries late in the game when your device is near launch. Additionally, focusing on risk reduction early on can help fine tune multiple device concepts and aid in advancing your innovative medical device down the pipeline.

What Does the De-Risking Process Look Like?

The de-risking process begins with risk identification, where your design and development team identifies and maps out the likelihood of hazards occurring, and the severity of those hazards. Risks are identified by evaluating the product design and specifications, the environments in which the product is to be used and the intended use (or misuse). All hazards are identified and their risks then evaluated.

Possible Risk Analysis Questions during De-Risking Phase One:

  • Does the current prototype work as intended? The same way every time?
  • Does it work outside of its best case scenario?
  • Is it sensitive to condition changes?
  • Are there potential user misuse?
  • Are there any functions that are higher risk?
  • Is it scalable?
  • Are there any supply chain risks?
  • Regulatory risks?
  • Market risks? Are there risks associated with the healthcare environment and possible insurance reimbursement?
  • Could it work with fewer bells and whistles? What if features were added?

The second step is risk evaluation. Within this step your design and development team establishes criteria and an associated scoring system to evaluate each risk identified within phase one. For example if your scoring level is one to five, risks scoring three and below are acceptable, and those scoring four and five require mitigation. By focusing on the most challenging risks first, the rest of your development process should flow easier.

Step three within the de-risking process would be actual risk mitigation and design and development changes. This phase also could involve design verification testing to prove implemented changes did indeed mitigate the noted risk(s).

For those risks that require mitigation, the risk must be traced and documented to determine if effective changes were implemented in the design phase. Design verification testing may be required to prove that the changes to design details were implemented correctly in the product prototype or final product. Testing one risk source at a time allows your design and development team to understand potential individual failure sources prior to integrated final device performance testing.

MedTech Launch Top De-Risking Tips:

  • De-Risk Early On Within Your Design and Development Process
  • Collaborate with Trusted Design and Development Partners
  • Stay Focused and Document, Document, Document
  • Score and Weigh Your Risks
  • Test, Test and Test
  • De-risk Concurrent with Prototyping, Instead of After

Have a medical device project you’d like to discuss, call us at 317-482-4250 or email our design and development engineers here.

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

Indiana a Hotbed for Life Sciences

Indiana a Hotbed for Life Sciences, Medical Device Development

OEMs looking to strengthen the ROI of their medical devices might benefit from exploring one rising hotbed for life sciences: Indiana. The state’s central location, relatively low cost of doing business, and strong life sciences climate make it a powerful combination that’s fueling demand across the sector, reports BioFutures. But that’s not all.

A few attributes unique to the Indiana market make it particularly attractive to medical device manufacturers. We’ll touch on some of those attributes below.

A data-driven perspective

If health data is king, then Indiana is its throne. The state is home to the nation’s largest health information exchange and the first-of-its-kind 5G Zone, designed to drive testing and development of 5G-enabled technologies.

At the Indiana Connected Health IoT Lab, various sectors (e.g. pharma, manufacturing, insurance, health IT, and more) convene to collaborate on emerging, health IoT technologies. The Regenstrief Institute boasts more than 20 scientists working on numerous health-data-centered initiatives, and the Indiana Data Hub provides a repository of data “available for analysis, collaboration and innovation,” reports BioFutures.

These examples are just a taste of the vast life sciences ecosystem in the state. Altogether, “Indiana has demonstrated a data-driven perspective that others have only recently grasped,” said Euan Cameron, CEO of Cohesion Medical based in Glasgow, Scotland.

A logistics powerhouse

With “Crossroads of America” as its official motto, Indiana is a logistics powerhouse, with nine interstates converging in Indianapolis plus the presence of the second largest FedEx hub in the nation. For OEMs, that adds up to faster, more efficient distribution of products.

Dallas-based Life Science Logistics is among the companies moving to Indiana to take advantage of those efficiencies. “Indiana in general is a great state for distribution, being centrally located to the U.S. population,” said John Blackington, the company’s business development director, to BioFutures. “We can reach about 80% of the population on the ground within a couple of days.”

Heavy investment in research, innovation, talent

Indiana’s heavy investment in research, talent and collaboration in life sciences is apparent in the rapid growth of startups and mid-tier companies in the state.

In 2019, Indiana’s major universities drew record funding for life sciences research, and a record number of Indiana life sciences companies secured venture capital funding, reported BioFutures. The state also continues to attract the attention and investment of organizations beyond the U.S., like the Scottish Life Sciences Association, which partners with Genesis Plastics Welding for medical device manufacturing.

Lifesaving devices Genesis manufactures for brands you’d readily recognize include:

·         Surgical products

·         Wound care products

·         Temperature management products

·         Infection prevention products

·         Oxygen hoods

·         Medical fluid bags
(collection, waste, transfer)

·         Bioprocessing bags

·         Cryogenic storage bags

·         Shaker and rocker bags

“It makes sense that Indiana is home to a large contract services sector,” said Tom Ryder, president and CEO of Genesis Plastics Welding. Tom noted that startups and smaller manufacturers readily see outsourcing advantages, but large manufacturers are increasingly outsourcing functions as well.

Aleks Davis, CEO of B2S Life Sciences, added yet another advantage to working with drug and medical device development contract services in Indiana: It’s considerably “less expensive than places like Cambridge, San Diego and San Francisco.”

“We have seen first-hand how our innovations are changing the lives of patients here and around the globe,” shared Kristin Jones, president and CEO of the Indiana Health Industry Forum. “Whether your company is well established or just entering the market, Indiana offers a collaborative, supportive, interactive and dynamic community that operates at the highest international standards and capacities. We hope to work with you soon!”

Explore Genesis Plastics Welding’s medical device development division – MedTech Launch.

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

Product Ideation: Building a Device Users Will Crave

It’s been said if you board the wrong train, it’s no use running along the corridor in the opposite direction. The same is true for bringing a medical device to market.

Often, innovators and entrepreneurs have a great idea for solving a real-life problem — whether it’s helping caregivers and patients catch a disease early, treat it more effectively, or stay healthier, longer. But in commercializing that product, costly flaws come to light, revealing missed opportunities that should’ve been caught in the ideation stages.

How do you create a medical device that patients and clinicians find compelling and worthy of their dollars?

In this post, we’ll focus on Phase Zero: the early steps when you’re shaping fuzzy ideas into one that’s worth pursuing and investing in.

Begin (and end) with the user

The success of your medical device will hinge heavily on two factors:

  1. The problem you’re solving or, put another way, the transformation the end user will enjoy as a result of using your device.
  2. The user experience.

A valuable device is one that solves a specific problem for a specific type of user, and does so as easily and pain-free as possible. In this context, “pain” can be literal or symbolic of cumbersome steps, needless confusion, hiccups or delays.

Think benefits over features, transformation over process

While features do matter, what really sells medical devices (or any product, for that matter) are benefits, or the transformation your device will deliver.

Here’s what we mean: People don’t buy pain pills because they want to swallow a pill or even because it features some fast-dissolving ingredient or minty aftertaste. People buy pain pills to stop pain. The benefit is no pain — not the pill itself, or whatever ingredients or processes were used to make that pill.

Sure, features deserve great care in the manufacturing of your device, but it’s helpful to begin framing your idea from the viewpoint of the transformation it will enable for end users.

Mind the experience

We’ve touched on this earlier, but it bears highlighting. For today’s consumers — whether patients, clinicians or else — the user experience matters almost as much as the solution your product delivers, especially when competing brands tout the same outcomes.

Thinking about existing market solutions, in what ways could your device remove points of friction, delay, confusion or discomfort? If you can save your user time, money or frustration, you’ll have a leg up over competitors selling similar benefits.

To that end, it’s vital to consider psychological and physiological principles in your design, or how humans think and use products.

Initiate market research

Once you’ve developed a hypothesis, you need to validate it. Talk with key members of your target buyer/user audience, review “Voice of the Customer” surveys, and available literature. You’ll also want to initiate clinical and market studies to further clarify the opportunity, existing competitors, and their weak spots.

At this early stage, there’s no need to spend a fortune on research, but you’ll want some proof points to reinforce and refine your idea, and help you sell it to internal stakeholders.

Get the right people (and expertise) involved

Medical devices are quite different from non-medical gadgets, and so is your target buyer’s tolerance for glitches, safety and usability issues. Getting the user, benefit and experience right is HUGE, but it’s also the first steps of many.

Given the complexities of launching a profitable medical device, it’s in your best interest to engage experts early on to prevent blind spots from derailing your progress.

As your device development progresses, it’s far easier to correct a subpar material or tweak specifications down the line. Getting the user, benefit or experience wrong, however, can be fatal to your investments.

Related insights:

Have concept in phase zero and need guidance? Our team of design and development engineers are here to help. Contact us today.

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

Your Expertise Can Severely Hurt Your Performance

Your expertise can severely hurt your performance, reports the Harvard Business Review, citing a decade-long research into top executives.

Two reasons for that: “The first is overconfidence: believing that brilliance in one area leads to competence in another. The second is when deep knowledge and experience leave leaders incurious, blinkered, and vulnerable — even in their own fields,” the author explains.

Put simply, no matter how much you’ve excelled in your field, you’re in danger of being blinded by your own expertise, unless you approach new challenges with a beginner’s mind. That’s especially vital in medical device development, given the potential repercussions of a single improvement or oversight.

Expertise Can Severely Hurt Your Performance

According to the report, you may be at risk of being blindsided by your own know-how if…

  1. You’ve fallen into a creative rut.
  2. Others seem uncomfortable challenging your assumptions and ideas.
  3. Market developments are beginning to take you by surprise.
  4. You’re unfamiliar with new technology and approaches in your industry.
  5. When someone asks you why you or your company does things a certain way, you shrug and think, “It’s how we’ve always done it.”
  6. When making decisions, you focus more on risks than opportunities.
  7. You find out your peers are working in ways you aren’t (e.g. Slack, Zoom, text vs email, mobile vs desktop).
  8. You keep proposing the same old tactics and strategies to solve new problems.
  9. You try to make old solutions more precise instead of pioneering new ones.
  10. Millennials leave your team faster than they leave other teams in your organization.

Is that you? What to do about it?

Researchers advise you start by methodically challenging your own assumptions and expertise. “To break this pattern, untether yourself from [the identity as the ‘best’ or ‘smart’], cultivate more modesty, and remind yourself of your intellectual limitations.”

Further eliminate blind spots by:

  • Seeking out fresh ideas.
  • Tapping new sources of talent and input.
  • Looking to teammates and peers as teachers.
  • Embracing experimentalism.
  • Posing frequent creative challenges for yourself.

Here’s the bottom line: Rededicate yourself to learning and don’t rely on what you know today if you want success to last.