4 Advantages of Working With One Medical Device Development Partner From Concept to Completion

 In Medical Product Design

The entire healthcare industry changed in response to Obamacare and subsequent value-based healthcare initiatives. It’s no longer about reactive care and treating a patient with corrective measures once they’re already sick. Instead, preventative care has become paramount.

For medical device companies, this paradigm shift is marked by increased demands for diagnostic, proactive, non-invasive products that lower a patient’s lifetime healthcare costs.

Translation: You need to create more and better technology — and you need to create it fast.

Of course, you’ve been feeling the landscape shift for years. That’s why you’re already so concerned about time to market and first mover advantage. The problem is that your medical device development process has to change if you want to be as fast (and high quality) as the market now demands.

But how?

You need one vertically integrated partner to see your product from the early stages of development through to manufacturing and ultimately delivery to your customers.

How Most Medical Device Companies Approach Product Development

As it stands, most medical device companies don’t use one partner across the board. In fact, you’re probably accustomed to contracting with three, five, or even more outside partners as your medical device makes the journey from concept to market.

You may hire a company to vet the science behind your proposed core technology, a company to take you through human factors engineering considerations, a regulatory expert, a manufacturer — the list goes on.

More than likely, you’ll have to repeatedly reset your development timeline as one partner finishes their part of the project and hands it off to your next partner. For example, if your design partner isn’t up to speed with your manufacturing partner’s tooling and techniques, they might not design with the right specifications in mind. Then, when you bring those specs to your manufacturing partner, they can’t create your product the way you intended. And this says nothing of imperative regulatory requirements you may have missed along the way.

Now you’re out of time and over budget. Worse, you probably have to go back to your design partner to realign on manufacturing requirements. It’s no wonder medical device development can sometimes take five to seven years!

4 Advantages of Working with a Full-Service Medical Device Development Partner

Put simply, you no longer have to work with several outside partners to get your medical device into the hands of your customers. Instead, you can hire a single, full-service medical device development partner. One who can see your project through from beginning to end — concept to completion.

Consider the top advantages of working with one vertically integrated partner:

1. Avoid Costly Missteps and Time-Consuming Realignment

With the usual model, your project gets handed off from partner to partner. Each partner has their own speciality or area of expertise, which means they might not have the full picture of every stage of medical device development in mind.

Even if each partner does understand the entire journey of a medical device from ideation to market, they’ll still need to be caught up on where the project stands once they inherit it.

So best-case scenario, you’re spending time (and money) getting each partner up to speed. And worst-case scenario? You realize the work you did with one partner is incorrect or doesn’t align with what your subsequent partner needs for their piece of the project. Missteps like these are costly and often result in project delays.

When you work with just one full-service partner, you never hand off your project from partner to partner. Everyone is always in the know about the latest with your device, which means no more tedious meetings spent filling in yet another new team.

What’s more, because every aspect of product development — including manufacturing — is under one umbrella, there’s a constant line of communication. You’ll never have to worry that what you’re designing won’t hold up to engineering standards or manufacturing techniques. Your product will be developed with each stage in mind at all times.

This one-partner model is particularly advantageous because it houses design and manufacturing under one roof. Designers aren’t in the dark about the specific tooling capabilities of the manufacturer. Instead, they work directly with the manufacturer. As a result, you can rest assured that your design will transfer to manufacturing at the intended cost.

2. Get Your Product to Market Faster

Avoiding the delays that come with handing your project off from one partner to another also means your medical device makes it to market faster. In fact, we aim to take products from concept to completion in just 14 to 16 months. Not only will you see revenue sooner, you’re also positioned as a first mover in the market.

As a first mover, you’ll capture market share more easily. Your product might even become synonymous with your technology in the eyes of consumers. Consider how Tesla is the company for electric vehicles. Or how Apple is the company for smartphones. That’s because they had the first mover advantage.

The medical device industry is becoming more competitive all the time. New startups pop up daily. This says nothing of the fact that consumers expect efficiency. All to say, getting to market faster matters.

3. Design the Right Product for the Medical Device Market

With the typical multi-partner model, you may have worked with a generalist design firm that didn’t specialize in medical devices. Or a manufacturing facility that also produces soup cans and smartphones.

But the medical device industry is uniquely complicated, highly regulated, and full of risk. If one of your partners doesn’t understand FDA requirements, for instance, your medical device may never make it to market.

That’s why your vertically integrated partner must specialize in medical devices.

A medical-device-only firm has a deep, specific understanding of:

Having a manufacturing partner that specializes in medical devices is particularly important. Medical devices are typically low-to-medium volume products. They’re not like cars; you don’t produce two million of the same thing every year.

The low-to-medium product volume creates challenges from a materials and manufacturing process perspective. But a manufacturing partner that works exclusively with medical devices is adaptable to those challenges since they’re not producing computers one day and a ventilator the next. Their tooling and techniques are set up exclusively for medical devices — 365 days a year.

4. Spend Less to Get Your Product Completed Sooner

When most medical device companies select outside partners, they look for the lowest price tag. What this fails to account for is the total cost of ownership, or how much it costs to get your product to market from start to finish.

How much are you spending trying to juggle multiple partners? How much are you losing in potential revenue if your product is slower to market? What’s the cost of each reset as you move from one partner to the next?

When you take all of those “hidden” costs into consideration, selecting just one partner is the only logical option. Your total cost of ownership will likely be lower than if you worked with several different partners at what appears to be a lower sticker price.

Let Us Be Your One Stop Shop for Medical Device Development

The advantages of the new model of medical device development are clear. That’s exactly why Midwest Products and Engineering (MPE) acquired MindFlow Design.

This acquisition means MindFlow Design and MPE can be that one vertically integrated organization specializing in medical device development. We’re your one-stop shop for product development, engineering, regulatory services, manufacturing, warehousing, and even product delivery to your end users. Utilize our firm for one, two, or all of these services depending on your unique medical device development needs.

If you’re interested in developing a medical device faster —and with less risk and more accuracy — contact us.

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