When most people think of Idaho, it typically conjures images of rugged mountains, fast running rivers, or maybe even potatoes. But what about medical innovation? Probably not.
While historically not a hotbed for medical innovation, Idaho has been making strides over the last several years. Below are some of the medical innovation companies that are making a difference around the world.
NOTE: This post will be updated as more medical innovation companies are identified. If you know of Idaho-based medical innovation companies that should be added to this list, please contact me.
Yang and Tao (2012), extending the work of Thieme (2007), sought to identify the top innovation management universities to provide “…important information for prospective faculty recruits, doctoral students, companies seeking consulting help, potential donors, and other stakeholders” (p. 319) .
The authors collected and analyzed 1229 innovation management articles from ten peer-reviewed research journals between 1991 and 2010. According to their analysis, the Top 10 innovation management universities are:
- University of Missouri-Kansas City
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Michigan State University
- Harvard University
- University of Pennsylvania
- Northeastern University
- Texas A&M University
- Stanford University
- Delft University of Technology
While I recognize all the universities, I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have thought to include the University of Missouri-Kansas City, let alone rank it #1.
Thieme, J. (2007). Perspective: The world’s top innovation management scholars and their social capital. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 24, 214-229.
Yang, P., and Tao, L. (2012). Perspective: Ranking of the world’s top innovation management scholars and universities. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 29, 319-331.
On November 9th, The Core will host the MedBuild 2016 Summit. The second annual summit is being held at Boise State University and seeks to connect innovators, companies, and investors with the intent of growing the nascent medical technology industry in Idaho.
The two-track summit will feature a keynote address by Debra Beresini and have educational sessions focusing on investing, reimbursements, and working with startups and universities. There will also be company spotlight presentations, where I’ll be speaking about the capabilities of Human Factors MD. The day will end with a networking reception.
For those interested in attending, you can purchase tickets here.
In their book, Creative Confidence, Tom and David Kelley discuss the importance of balancing three factors (technical factors, business factors, and human factors), often referred to as the IDEO Three Lens of Human-Center Design, when undertaking innovation initiatives. While they go into detail about all three, for myself, their commentary about the third element – human factors – is most interesting. They state:
The third element involves people, and is sometimes referred to as human factors. It’s about deeply understanding human needs. Beyond just observing behaviors, this third aspect of successful innovation programs is about getting at people’s motivations and core beliefs. Human factors aren’t necessarily more important than the other two. But technical factors are well taught in science and engineering programs around the world, and companies everywhere focus energy on the business factors. So we believe that human factors may offer some of the best opportunities for innovation, which is why we always start there. (pp. 20-21)
I completely agree that deeply understanding human factors is vital for successful innovation. It’s great to see respected professionals in the design community write about the importance of this topic.
Kelley, T. and Kelley, D. (2013). Creative confidence: Unleashing the creative potential within us all. Crown Business: New York, NY.
In an earlier post, I identified ten questions that are important to answer when developing innovative medical devices. These are general questions that cover a wide variety of topics, without initially diving too deep. But, it’s also necessary to drill down and answer more specific safety-related questions.
Whitmore (2012) has identified six questions that are a good starting point for addressing potential risks associated with medical devices. They include:
- Have all the safety risks been identified for normal use of the device?
- Have all the safety risks been identified for foreseeable misuse of the device?
- To what extent are the identified risks minimized through routine design development procedures, product testing, and application of industry standards?
- To what extent will warnings and anticipated adherence to those warnings minimize the hazard?
- Could an alternative, lower-risk design be used?
- Given the identified risks of the product, do you, the manufacturer, consider the device to be reasonably safe?
Whitmore, E. (2012). Development of FDA-regulated medical products: A translational approach (2nd ed). Milwaukee, WI: ASQ Quality Press.
Anyone that has been involved with designing, developing, and deploying medical devices knows there are lots of questions the product development team – and the larger organization – need to address in order to achieve success. Unfortunately, the magnitude of daily “small” questions can crowd out the fewer “big” questions, thus leading to drift, frustration, and failure.
Over the years, I’ve found there are ten questions that are vital to successful medical device development. They include:
- Is there a market for the medical device?
- Who will purchase the medical device?
- What should we charge for the medical device?
- Who are the users of the medical device?
- Where will the medical device be used?
- What is necessary to successfully use the medical device?
- Can we build the medical device?
- Should we build the medical device?
- Did we build the medical device right?
- Did we build the right medical device?
While this list of questions is by no means exhaustive, they are key high-level questions that, if answered correctly, can contribute to appropriately focusing scarce resources and achieving product realization. Moreover, without concrete answers to these questions, the product development team may be setting themselves up for failure, or at the very least, a very rocky development lifecycle.