Research and development is the cornerstone of growth in the medical device industry. R&D funding is available; however, the issue isn’t availability as much as availability for marginal improvement. The question to ask is, “Will a marginal improvement reduce costs for the patient and caregiver?”
I can be a kid at heart. And when I say that, I state it with an almost literal meaning. I still enjoy toys. Now, I’m not the 40-year-old virgin character from the movie of the same name, but I can’t admit to not still tinkering with Lego bricks and finding enjoyment from it.
We see funding for new medical devices driven by private investment from individuals or private companies. These bold investors are capable of quick decisions as they meter the funding to match progress and discover the real market opportunity.
The buzz around wearable technology has been escalating the past several months. In fact, wearable technology has moved beyond product concepts to actual products worn by consumers. These include virtual reality eyeglasses, sophisticated health monitoring devices housed within an elastic wristband, sensor-based canes for the blind, and smartwatches with many features.
The financial pressures medical device OEMs are facing are very real. They’re experiencing reduced reimbursements from the government and insurance companies, increased taxes, and global competition. As a result, new business models are evolving to ensure new product innovation is not stifled and, most importantly, patient safety is not compromised.
While Metrigraphics LLC certainly does not speak for the medical device OEM industry, as a custom contract manufacturer of leading edge micro components, we certainly feel the impacts of various external elements on the ebb and flow of R&D and innovation activities of the OEMs.
As OEM’s streamline to meet financial pressures, top level designs will be emphasized but second and third level particulars will adhere more closely to a suppliers understanding of their present capability. The particulars are under a fine balancing act and vision outside will require a thorough knowledge, down to the step-by-step production process to lean out waste.
In Part 1 of this blog, we discussed disruptive technology as it pertains to the medical equipment market. Due to the high cost of leading-edge medical technology, sales are lagging for the most cutting-edge systems, such as hybrid x-rays, which combine radiology/cardiology interventional x-ray systems.
Any time a disruptive technology comes along, prior generations of similar technologies are impacted. In the consumer market, customers generally adopt new technology rapidly if the price is right. For higher-value equipment, though, prior generations may find a new lease on life while customers wait until new technology price points come down.
The European Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods performed a validation for in vitro irritation test for cosmetics and chemicals to replace the rabbit irritation test. Nelson Laboratories is participating in a round robin study to see if the validation will apply to medical devices in a three-phase process.
Over 200 million people have downloaded a healthcare application to their smartphone. However, only a small number of those downloaded apps are used regularly and, since most apps are free, even a smaller number of applications actually generate any revenue.
In a draft guidance document, FDA has placed its summary of ideas regarding biocompatibility and possible changes that could eventually replace FDA G-95 Blue Book Memorandum #G95-1 on biocompatibility. The draft document has been out since April and is widely available, though it has not been formally released.
In today’s interconnected world, it’s easier to set a DVR from an airplane seat or remotely watch the kids arrive home than to gather significant data about our health. Traditional office visits, laboratory tests, and hospital-based equipment are still the primary means of acquiring information about a person’s health.
In order to reduce unneeded animal testing and possible cost and duration of testing, the ISO 10993 committee is looking to add an in vitro option to irritation testing. For the past 20 years, if you wanted to test for irritation, you had to do a version of the animal irritation test.
Anyone who has ever been in an OR with a surgeon will know that pleasing them with your new device is no mean feat! So should we be looking at surgical innovation in a different way? Is industry completely misaligned to the needs of the surgeon and should we be looking to our surgeon customers to drive our approach to innovation?