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Capitalizing on change and complexity in evolving medical devices

Today’s customers expect connected products, with sophisticated software-driven features. They invariably want more choice, new types of materials and finishes. Products are expected to be safer, more compliant, and their manufacturing processes more eco-friendly. And, as is often the case, they are expected to be delivered at lower cost, with better performance, and developed in much shorter timescales than ever before.

Products such as complex medical equipment and large industrial machines have become ultra-sophisticated cyber-physical systems. They often have software content of millions, if not hundreds of million lines of code, across dozens of interconnected circuits. In addition, these machines contain a plethora of attached sensors, actuators and communication interfaces.


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Looking for opportunities in electromechanical medical device design

There are no silver bullets, or instant solutions to the design challenges in such complex circumstances. But options do exist, and some of these include:

  • New methods to lower barriers between the domain silos of old, encouraging more inter-disciplinary teamwork, efficiency and time to market
  • Top down methodologies and development approaches are both collaborative and domain-inclusive. Supported by technologies such as PLM, they address many of the challenges faced by companies in areas such as complexity management, product variability, optimization and traceability; starting from earliest requirements through to product in service.
  • Creating workflows that exploit the unique value of digital models.

Thoughts on the future of electromechanical medical device design

With skills in high demand, time being short, and costs under increasing pressure, using design tools to augment and automate multidomain design workflows makes both business and technological sense. Fortunately, new features, more open and seamless technological integration between mechanical and electrical domain toolchains now makes this much more practical. If companies haven’t already started to do so, they might want to investigate product options anew to take advantage of these advances.