The medical device market is vast and quite lucrative for manufacturers. But it’s not always a breeze to get into or to navigate. Since medical devices meet the needs of both individuals and institutions, they must meet certain standards and provide true value to recipients while improving their quality of life and solving a variety of needs. That’s why there are so many challenges that turn up at every stage of creating medical devices. Many of these challenges can be met and overcome.
1. Research and Development
Research and development are a key part creating and manufacturing devices that use cutting edge technology, and it is often very expensive and laborious. It takes a lot of time and plenty of trials to ensure that a device is worthwhile and valuable to the public. This is why so many companies look to medical device contract manufacturing to help expedite the R&D phase. Leveraging cloud capabilities to analyze, collect and consolidate data often plays a big role in solving this complication.
With so many medical devices connecting to the Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity becomes another factor to consider in manufacturing. Smart technologies can be hacked, and ensuring that hacking into one device won’t give hackers access to an entire facility is extremely important. Making use of separate networks, data encryption and frequent software updates are just some of the ways manufacturers can jump this hurdle.
3. Counterfeit Devices
There’s a counterfeit version of just about anything you can think of, wearable medical devices included. In order to verify their devices, many manufacturers have to implement systems to ensure the safety of their users. One of the newest and most effective ways to combat counterfeit devices is the blockchain. That’s right, the same blockchain that validates NFTs and cryptocurrency. The use of unique identifiers protects both the recipient and the manufacturers.
4. Healthcare Costs
Far too many people cannot afford the healthcare that they need to improve their quality of life. Those who are in need of medical devices can’t always afford them. Keeping manufacturing costs as low as possible allows more patients to benefit from them, but the process of taking a medical device from conception to a profitable reality comes with a pretty hefty price tag.
5. Compliance with Regulations
Regulatory complications are a very real and widespread challenge for device manufacturers. Because medical device regulations are different from country to country and the language/communication barriers, standards and regulations are not always clear. That’s why having a manufacturing standard is so important. A manufacturer must implement their own quality control in addition to that of the market they’re working within. And there are also industry recognized standards like ISO 13485.
This industry provides solutions that many people’s lives depend on. And as important as it is, there are a lot of challenges to overcome. Some are systematic and others are by far easier to tackle. Choosing the right technology and adjusting workflows can be just the thing to minimize medical device manufacturing challenges.