Health care companies are using more outsourced services to succeed in competitive, cost-conscious markets. Industry leaders hire outside companies for manufacturing, marketing and maintenance. Specialized firms assist with regulatory compliance, product validation and premarket approval. Analysts expect that demand for medical device outsourcing will increase by 11 percent between 2016 and 2025. The market for outsourced product development and catheter design services will grow by 15 percent during the same timeframe, which makes it the fastest growing segment within the vertical.
The industry is growing so quickly because companies can realize significant cost savings while maintaining optimal quality levels and reducing lead times.
Successful Catheter Designs
Catheter designs must surpass existing products to break into the market successfully. Experts can predict which designs will perform better and have the greatest commercial potential. This way, clients can focus their resources on the most profitable iterations. To create a commercially viable catheter design, the development team needs to understand the market and communicate with end users. Products must meet patients’ needs and fill a gap in the market. They should also be simple, safe and streamlined. Successful catheter designs are generally easy to use. If the product is reusable, its maintenance requirements should be simple as well.
Catheters may feature new materials or incorporate emerging technologies to increase their commercial potential and to differentiate them from the competition. Designers consider safety factors, insurance reimbursement rules and regulatory compliance so that the new device can be introduced to all target markets. By incorporating data from multiple sources, a catheter design firm can create innovative products that address human factors and put the patients’ requirements first.
Lower Initial Investments and Cost Savings
Third-party catheter design and prototyping services are ideal for startups that don’t have the resources to build an in-house team, earn advanced certifications or navigate complex regulatory systems in multiple countries. By contracting an outside firm, clients don’t need to make substantial investments or liquidate capital.
Established manufacturers also benefit from the experience and resources that third-party catheter design firms provide. A team of engineers can work with the client’s staff members to complete specific product development tasks, or the contractor can complete all design, testing and approval phases so that the client receives a market-ready product. In most cases, an outside partner can offer faster lead times at lower costs.
Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Methods
Today, catheter designs feature many high-performance materials, including polymers and Nitinol alloys. Engineers assess materials, manufacturing methods and design variables to produce catheters that have optimal torque, flexibility and pushability.
Materials also influence the device’s performance during MRI-guided diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Specialized materials are needed for specific applications. For example, vascular catheters must be extremely strong and flexible as well as nonreactive, and they can’t injure the endothelial tissue or cause any type of inflammatory response. Each design must be appropriate for the application while addressing human factors.
State-of-the-art manufacturing methods seamlessly combine braided and extruded tubing materials with synthetic liners so that each section of the catheter performs optimally.
Today’s high-tech manufacturing methods are cost-effective, and the products are developed quickly. Designers who are familiar with advanced materials select the ideal combination for each procedure. This ensures that products meet all design objectives and sales goals.