• Ready, Set, Launch—But Not Without a Plan

  • In 1968 3M scientist Dr. Spencer Silver was attempting to develop a super-strong adhesive. Instead, he accidentally created a low-tack, reusable adhesive. He tried to find a use for the “accident” for years but nothing stuck. No pun intended. As a last effort, he decided to place it on the back of his own bookmark. He quickly was moving the bookmark from page to page to mark where he was in the book after years of turning down a page corner to mark where he ended his reading for the night.

    The rest as they say…is Post-it history. Silver definitely didn’t have a plan for this new product’s launch. But, business partner 3M did—making it one of the most identifiable products in use today. If you are keeping your own device development notes on Post-its, you may want to work on getting a better documented plan.

    Most Common Device Development Mistakes

    So, what are some of the most common device development mistakes made today? Good question. Gathering up all those Post-it notes and getting a cohesive development plan is first on the list. Important to the process is identifying a reliable and credible partner like MedTech Launch to help guide the development process so that mistakes are avoidable and not inevitable. Genesis Plastics Welding recently announced their new division—MedTech Launch —as a strategic partner aligned to assist medical device clients in navigating the product launch process, from initial concept to commercialization.

    Here are four major mistakes that a good development plan, and experienced manufacturing partner, can help you avoid:

    Identify your end user and create a product development plan

    Rushing the research on your new product and how it will be used in everyday application, without a clear picture of the end user, can be a crucial mistake at the beginning of the product development process—especially in the medical device industry. Taking the time to conduct appropriate and thorough research and discovery will be essential to assist in the initial stages of your project development plan.

    Mitigate and understand design and development risks

    The ability to assess potential product risk during each stage of product development can help safeguard your product’s profitability and safety. Securing a development partner who understands the ins and outs of regulations and standards can assure that risk assessment and mitigation is happening at each stage of your product development process

    Communicate clearly and document your development process

    Remember those Post-its? That isn’t the way to keep your project organized and your key development partners informed. A lack of integration and communication between risk management, design, engineering, and production can keep your team from working with the same goals in mind. While communicating goals is crucial, not keeping a documentation of the entire product development process will contribute to headaches later on. Creating and consistently documenting the development process will keep a real-time history of the stages during the overall process.

    Do not rush research, development, or quality testing to speed toward manufacturing goals

    Moving quickly, and sometimes not thoroughly, through the research, discovery, and testing phases of product development and heading toward manufacturing with an early prototype can be a costly mistake. A cohesive production process plan based on the goal of bringing a safe and tested product to market, with mitigated risks, should be the foundation of bringing your product from concept to use.

    Bringing innovative new products from concept to reality, whether they started on a Post-it or a cocktail napkin, is an exciting process but one that needs expert advice to avoid costly pitfalls along the way. MedTech Launch can be that partner as you focus on design, prototyping, quality, risk management and overall product manufacturability.