I really enjoy Medical Product Design. Here are a few reasons why:
- Designing medical products is a worthwhile activity. I can’t get too excited when asked to design an add-on gizmo for the latest iphone, but with good medical products you are potentially making a real difference to people’s lives or even keeping them alive.
- Most Medical Product Design involves some degree of advanced technology or ways of combining technologies to make a new product.
- Because Devon 3D CAD is a small business, I get to work with small innovative companies. Focus on the outcome without layers of management or design by committee. This gets the brain working and collaboration with people eager to make a difference is the driving force.
I have recently begun working with Alan McLeod, at Health Innovation Support whose aim is to help innovators within the NHS to develop their ideas. There are some outstanding individuals working within the NHS and I hope to play some part in realising the potential of their innovations.
The skills I bring to the work of Health Innovation Support:
- A lifetime’s work as a professional Product Designer and Mechanical Design Engineer in the UK and California.
- Groundbreaking design work in transforming medical R&D concepts into marketable and successful Medical Devices.
- Skill and experience in using SolidWorks 3D Solid Modelling CAD software. I develop 3D Solid Models of the innovative ideas and prepare output data so that the parts can be 3D Printed. This is one of the pieces of evidence that can give the innovation the best possible chance of being assessed for further development.
While living and working in California I was lucky enough to work with some great progressive medical start-up entrepreneurs.
Abaxis corp. Blood Analyser
Abaxis is an established medical diagnostics company in Silicon Valley, California. When I was a Product Design Consultant in San Francisco they were a very well funded start up technology company developing a small stand-alone Blood Analyser. The goal was to analyse a blood sample in a few minutes, which is much faster and more convenient than the old system of sending blood samples to a laboratory and waiting days for the results. I was tasked with bringing each of the developing technologies into a single unit that could be operated anywhere without specialist technicians.
I applied Human Factors analysis to arrange the components in a logical layout for ease of use. The result is a small, battery powered unit that accurately analyses the blood sample from a finger stick and prints the results in a few minutes. This speed of operation is a huge step forward for doctors and patients who can be diagnosed in one trip.
Medical Product Design for Incisive Technologies – Dental Laser.
Typical of the small medical start ups in Silicon Valley, Incisive Technologies was started with the goal of developing pulsed laser technology for mainstream dental procedures. I provided the crucial Product Design that transformed the laboratory equipment into a customer friendly unit very much at home in the dental consulting room.
Hip Replacements have become almost commonplace and surgeons are moving on to ever smaller joints that need replacement mainly due to arthritis. For a finger joint replacement a surgeon requires a full set of small stainless steel surgical instruments used for measuring, positioning, bone and marrow removal, cutting of bone and hammering replacements into the bones. Sounds and looks gruesome! Each set of instruments I designed in 5 different sizes. Very interesting design work.