Simulation in medical device manufacturing

Engineering simulation is getting instrumental to planning medical devices that guarantee high unwavering quality, give information security, and submit to administrative consistency. Medical devices and advancements require steady moves up to stay in pace with the developing requirements for medical discussion.

Medtech suppliers are confronting testing times as they are needed to convey better execution, more demonstrative bits of knowledge and higher by and large incentive through their devices, while spending plans and time-to-showcase desires are getting stricter. Medical device makers can use engineering simulation to accomplish a speedier chance to market and predominant brand discernment. Simulation conveys the accompanying preferences in medical devices: 

Desirable size, weight, power, and cooling

Medical devices can be intended to be more modest, lighter, more energy-effective, and cooler to convey persistent solace and unwavering quality. Device originators can use reproduction to concoct a wide scope of plan options that think about the genuine math, measurements, highlights and segments of the device. 

Unrivaled detecting and availability 

Simulation can move the plan of keen medical devices that sense their current circumstance, speak with other electronic devices in region and empower choices and results. These are useful particularly for conceivably genuine wellbeing circumstances, where devices need to quickly caution the patient and give earnest proposals while reaching the medical staff to make prompt moves. 

Unwavering quality and security 

Reenactment guarantees devices are planned considering future embedded or body-worn applications, where the dependability, security and versatility of the device will be pivotal for the patient’s prosperity. They should adhere to the security norms carefully. 

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Indian medical device R&D- Opportunities and challenges

India is recognised as a strong R&D hub, with global companies and innovators making greater investments for reasons including quality of talent, innovation mindset, better access to emerging markets and overall cost benefit. In fact, cost benefit has now become an outcome rather than a primary focus point of medical device R&D investment.

But to keep pace global R&D medical device marketplace, we must anticipate global needs and create products that address existing and future challenges. This requires us to continue developing the skill set of our talented workforce, tapping into the strength of our mature national software and IT industry in areas like digital health, and responding to an industry shift away from outsourcing in favour of in-house resources.

Three clear trends augur well for the R&D industry in India in the year ahead. It is time to ask ourselves: are we ready to make the most of these opportunities in the year ahead ?

Three pathways to improve medical device R&D

1. Embrace disruption by digital technology: 

The growing penetration of digital technology is disrupting established business models. Once seen as just an enabler, digital technology is now recognised as a future business growth driver. Connected devices and wearable technologies demonstrate great potential for preventive healthcare and represent an evolving healthcare delivery model. They exemplify the convergence of fields such as personal health, medical devices and artificial intelligence, all of which require sound digital knowledge and expertise.

For companies to be successful in this changing R&D landscape, they require forward-thinking strategies that embrace the power of digitisation. It does help that India has a strong talent base in software, which allows us to drive quick wins and enhance the overall credibility of our operations. 

2. Expand approach to talent development :

The fact is that while India does have a strong talent base in software and engineering, this talent is still evolving. A clear ‘innovation gap’ exists in India and bigger investment in the field is the need of the hour. The medical device industry is highly dependent on technical expertise and demands development of innovative products to continue on a profitable growth path. 

The Indian medical device industry is only three decades old, and the R&D centre investments were initiated by multinational companies (MNCs) as late as in the mid to late nineties. Current university syllabi and programmes must be more dynamic to take on the challenges of the future. Our universities need investment in enabling technology platforms like micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), implantables, nanotechnology and material sciences. Our progress in scientific research and training over the past few years has been good. Today, India’s scientific research institutions outscore China, Brazil and Russia in terms of quality of research.iii

With increased public investment in education and R&D, India has jumped six points in higher education and training (75th position) and three points in technological readiness (107th position) in the last two years. But we are still a long way from realising our full potential. India is on the path to being a global leader in technology and R&D, and our biggest challenge now is to devise industry strategies to sustain this rapid progress.

3. Strengthen in-house capabilities :

Companies are moving from the outsourcing model to developing their own global in-house capability centres (GICs), with GICs evolving to provide niche skills to the parent organisation. With the GIC model, companies are able to combine innovation and scale to support product development for both global and emerging markets. This means we can re-purpose our R&D efforts to meet three key endpoints: India for global, India for the region and India for local. This can help ensure scalability of products and encourage better investment in R&D in the years to come.

Companies with established GICs are now utilising their success to make bigger investments, either by bringing in more functions and services, or by tapping into local manufacturing. Since 2010, the total revenue generated by GICs has gone up 1.7 times to cross $19 billion, and this segment currently employs more than 25 per cent of the industry workforce.

The way forward

The foundation we have laid in medical device R&D needs to be further strengthened by growing our talent pool on multiple levels. We need educational institutions to create a strong and relevant academic framework for innovation, enabling more and more individuals to develop their research and technology skills and give us leverage to compete in a rapidly changing ‘digitised’ world. I am hopeful that together these measures will help us bridge the existing innovation divide and improve the quality of India’s innovation in 2020 and beyond.

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Human-centered R&D design for Medical Technology

Explosive population growth. Aging populations. Inadequate access to quality healthcare in the poorest parts of the world. Medical technologies that aren’t getting the job done. To handle these challenges, medical-device makers will have to take a whole new approach to innovation. R&D in this space is no longer just about tweaking existing products to make incremental improvements. It’s about creating breakthrough devices through human centered R&D design. These devices will reinvent how healthcare is delivered and generate unprecedented new value for patients, providers, and payers alike. This includes :

  • Lowering healthcare costs
  • Enhancing quality of care
  • Personalizing care for patients

How will all this happen?

Next-generation medical devices will be designed and developed with users’ needs and experiences top of mind for R&D teams. They will not only with scientific advancements in product components as the primary focus.

We call it context-driven development. It focuses on R&D approaches called Design Thinking and Design Doing. Among progressive device makers today, it’s replacing classic waterfall development as the wellspring for innovation.

Enter . . . Design Thinking and Design Doing

Design Thinking is a human-centered approach to solving complex problems. Multidisciplinary teams come together to manufacture new products, solutions, and business processes—asking questions like:

  • Who’ll use this device?
  • What does each different set of users want from it?
  • In what respects are different users struggling with devices available now?
  • How can we ease those pain points?

Through Design Doing, a diverse team comprising designers, software developers, and hardware engineers quickly develops functional prototypes. Team members test “thin slices”—simple elements of the device’s functionality that could be valuable. It could potentially be released to production, such as a specific device feature—with real users. Then they draw on users’ feedback to prove or disprove the device’s value. They iterate as needed to bring the most promising solutions to market.

Result? Faster speed to value. And products that score user centricity and a resounding success in the marketplace by challenging the status quo and, even better, by creating something entirely new.

Ready, set . . . Ideate. Plan. Develop.

To get the most from their traditional plus context-driven innovation efforts, medical-device companies will need to embed Design Thinking and Design Doing in their existing R&D processes. That’s not easy. However, human centered R&D design and some savvy tactics which are tailored to the ideating, planning and development phases of innovation can help.

Ideate– Bring together people who have expertise in “emotional engineering,” “intelligent engineering” and “technology engineering.”

Plan– Allocate R&D funds through a venture-capital mindset i.e. funding shorter time periods of a larger portfolio of ideas.

Develop– In addition to traditional “milestones,” define “yardstones” i.e. frequent, user-focused reviews of “thin slices” of a device in development.

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