Here’s How MedTech Companies Can Design Products That are Easy to Use (The MedTech Download)

Kelly Springs-Kelley
May 26, 2021

Key Takeaways

  • When it comes to medical technology, there is a paradox. While advancements themselves are more complex, the need for a simple user interface is even more critical.
  • MedTech company Bone Health Technologies has developed a product aimed at treating osteopenia and preventing osteoporosis.
  • Even with vaccination rates across the US climbing, the need to prevent serious illness in infected individuals is still critical. Researchers have developed a new therapy consisting of small interfering RNA molecules encapsulated within lipid nanoparticles aimed at disrupting viral replication.

How to Design an Elegantly Simple Medtech Product

When engineers and entrepreneurs first conceptualize a new medical device, it is in response to an unmet clinical or market need. Often, that need has gone unaddressed because a remedy seemed complex; it then stands to reason that the mechanisms at play behind the device are likely complicated and require expertise on the part of the designer. Add in AI in healthcare, machine learning, and other recent advancements, and the way some medical devices function can baffle many outside of that specialty.

And the reality is that the people who will actually use the device are likely not as specialized as those who designed it. Whether he or she is a doctor in a hospital or a patient at home, in order for medical advancements to benefit patients they have to be accessible to a variety of skill levels. In fact, as this article points out, “for Medical Design Excellence Awards finalist Enodatis — a web-based clinical support tool for the respiratory care of COVID-19 patients — simplicity wasn’t just a design factor. It was the design factor” and driving force in its development.

Getting Past Rejection as a First-Time Medical Device Entrepreneur: Interview with Derek Herrera, Founder of UroDev and Habit Camera

Often innovators imagine solutions to problems that are either overlooked, dismissed, or have never been imagined before. Many are motivated by personal experiences; driven to solve a problem that impacts their lives or those of their loved ones. It is these stories that are often the backdrop of technologies that we take for granted, especially in the world of healthcare.

One such story involves American hero Derek Herrer, a Marine Raider who, in 2012, was injured in combat in Afghanistan and paralyzed from the chest down. But Herrer’s accomplishments and drive in the military would translate well in the entrepreneurial space. Soon after his injury and recovery he went on to found his first company, Spinal Singularity (now UroDev Medical). In an interview with Medsider, Herrer discusses how his injuries changed his life and ultimately inspired him to develop medical solutions for people facing similar challenges.

This Medtech Company Invented A Solution To Treat Bone Health Conditions Affecting 54 Million Americans And Costing The Healthcare System $19 Billion Annually

When it comes to chronic health conditions, as the top three most common in the US we often hear about heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These diseases are not only highly-visible in our society, but generally draw a clean line between diagnosis and poor outcomes. Many are considered epidemics and put an immense drain on our healthcare system. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, the total costs of diagnosed diabetes had risen to $327 billion by 2017, with the disease impacting approximately 34 million Americans. It is no wonder that these diseases receive so much attention and funding.

But other health conditions that don’t receive as much press can  have a significant impact on the population’s health, well-being, and mortality. One of those is osteoporosis, which according to an article in Forbes, affects more than 200 million people globally. Of that, “in the U.S., 50% of women and 25% of men over the age of 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture” with the condition costing “patients, their families, and the healthcare system $19 billion annually.” The article also reports that these fractures cause significant morbidity and mortality. In response, MedTech company Bone Health Technologies has created a product designed to treat osteopenia and prevent osteoporosis. Read more about how this innovation has the potential to change patient outcomes here.

Gene-Silencing Nanoparticles to Treat COVID-19

Now that close to 50% of adults in the US are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, segments of society are ready to move on from the pandemic. In many states, mask mandates have been lifted regardless of one’s vaccination status, alarming health officials who are forced to see a glass half empty. When it comes to loosening guidelines, rather than see 50% of people protected, they are concerned about the 50% that are not. In addition to the fact that children under 12 are still not eligible for vaccination, we are opening the possibility for new virus mutations and new waves of cases.

To stem severe infection, researchers in the US and Australia have collaborated to develop a new antiviral therapy with the potential to interfere with COVID-19’s ability to reproduce and cause severe illness. Even better, the siRNA-based therapy is designed to combat existing and possible future virus variants, offering further protection for COVID patients.

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