2010 Design of Medical Devices Conference Abstracts

The Characteristics of Innovative, Medical Devices PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author and Article Information
Katja Holtta-Otto

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Matthew Saunders, Carolyn Seepersad

University of Texas at Austin

J. Med. Devices 4(2), 027519 (Aug 10, 2010) (1 page) doi:10.1115/1.3443171 History: Published August 10, 2010


It is not easy to design an innovative and successful product in any field of engineering. Medical device design is further complicated by strict regulations. Current engineering design methods provide help in designing a good product, but the designer lacks tools that help him or her create an innovative, commercially successful product. In this study, we analyzed 51 innovative, award-winning medical devices against their competition to identify what made those products stand out from the competition. The method was focused on finding engineering-level characteristics that made the products successful and whether the characteristics of success in the medical device industry are similar to those of other industries. We used a set of innovation categories that have been shown to apply to mechanical engineering products. The results show that the most innovative medical devices were innovative in at least three categories. Overall, a majority (greater than 60%) of the award-winning medical devices exhibited enhanced user interactions, with a similar percentage displaying enhanced environmental interactions and architectural changes, compared with only 20% of devices offering an additional function. We conclude that designers of innovative medical devices need better design methods that extend beyond the functionality of the products.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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