Moving quickly and moving deliberately might seem like antithetical concepts, but in the world of medical device development, they are inextricably linked. Given the emphasis placed on releasing products as soon as possible, it’s easy to imagine OEMs throwing caution to the wind in a mad dash to market, but in truth, the realities of the device industry mean that the best way to speed up the process is to carefully plan it out.
“What we really have to understand is what the customer needs, [and] what the market will need,” Barry Craner, vice president of quality assurance and regulatory affairs at Stellartech Research Corp. (Amherst, NY) says. “That’s why it’s important for companies to be fully aware of the market for any potential products, to know exactly what the product would be used for and whether there is any interest in that use. Companies that develop a tight specification for a product early in the design process have “a pretty good chance at a much faster development process,” he says.
I am reminded of the old Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare with the moral “Slow and steady wins the race.” Perhaps in the case of medical device development, the “tortare” would win the race.