Want to create a medical device that will also find real success? Better find something useful rather than just spectacular. At the Atlantic Design and Manufacturing show in New York City this week, design leaders gathered for the panel, “Secrets of Successful Medical Design Innovation.” Panelists explained the realities of innovation. They stressed the importance of usefulness and explained that it’s critical to keep the senior managers of your company on board with the design work, particularly if the process is lengthy and costly.
Speakers included moderator Bryce Rutter, CEO of Metaphase Design Group; and panelists Craig Scherer, senior partner at Insight Product Development; Daniel Kosoy, partner at Athenian Venture Partners; Giridhar Thiagarajan, R&D engineer at Bard Access Systems; Gerry Llanos, research fellow at Ethicon; and Kelly Sager, senior business director at BD Intelliport.
One point that most of panelists stressed is the importance to creating products that fill clear and identifiable needs. “It’s important that we address user needs rather than an engineer’s perspective of what a user needs,” said Thiagarajan. “Ask users what is missing in their current products. The design needs to make sense. It doesn’t need to be groundbreaking. It just needs to address user needs and be efficient.”
Kosoy underscored the need for a product to be clearly useful. “You have to be solving a problem. If there isn’t a problem, it will be hard to get people interested in what you’re doing. Incremental changes are useful, but it really needs to be substantive.” He also noted how important it is to be able to explain the product’s use convincingly. “What’s the story you’re telling? Can you build a presentation around it to convince a large company?”
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