Transforming The Medical Device Industry

by Susan Johnson / December 22, 2022

Top 3 Medical Device Trends In 2023

As the industry embarks on a new year, here are the top three medical device trends we see based on our work with medical device leaders across the industry.

Trend #1:   Microfluidics

Microfluidics (including “lab-on-a-chip”—LOC—and microfluidic chip technology), refers to specialized technology designed to precisely control and manipulate fluids on a micro scale. Since microfluidics can control small quantities of fluid with impressive accuracy and speed, this technology is ideal for fast sample processing, increased mobility, and high sensitivity—all at low cost. Microfluidics are, therefore, growing in popularity for use in several diverse applications, including diagnostics, heating and cooling management, single-cell processing, and more.

Microfluidics can also more accurately—and more quickly—detect diseases. And, since advances in this technology are now being developed to analyze how cells, tissues, and organs respond to a particular medication, microfluidics can also help in the development of groundbreaking therapies. For these reasons alone, the field of microfluidics will become more sophisticated, developing even smaller biochips that offer greater functionality, leading to more accurate and responsive patient diagnoses. Working with an electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider with expertise in microfluidics will help keep you ahead of the curve so that you can successfully compete in today’s marketplace.

Benchmark’s 40+ years of experience coupled with our diverse engineering and manufacturing portfolio strategically position us to support today’s advanced technologies involving microfluidics. Our teams collaborate with our partners to develop the most advanced microfluidic technology to increase precision, decrease turnaround time, and enhance patient outcomes.

Trend #2:   Speed to Market

Medical device development has traditionally used a methodical approach that addresses regulatory concerns. However, this is starting to change. With the support of the FDA and the EU medical device regulatory authorities, medical device companies are finding innovative ways to increase speed to market while protecting quality. If the design and manufacturing workflow is not properly managed, however, complications with meeting speed requirements can begin as early as the conceptual stage and remain a challenge throughout a product’s lifecycle.

As an example, when a manufacturer designs a new product, they must select critical components. However, if these selections are made without considering what the supply chain will look like, their development process might quickly grind to a halt—especially if they learn too late in the design and manufacturing process that a particular critical component is about to become obsolete.

When this occurs, companies might be able to find more budget to respond but they can’t buy back lost time. And, in the competitive medical device marketplace, companies cannot afford to lose time. In other words, if you have a leading-edge product that successfully solves a problem, you can bet that your competitor is working on it too—and you might not get a second chance to enter or own that market. Working with a development and manufacturing partner that collaborates with you throughout the design and manufacturing process will help to accelerate your speed to market.

“In the competitive medical device marketplace, companies cannot afford to lose time. In other words, if you have a leading-edge product that successfully solves a problem, you can bet that your competitor is working on it too—and you might not get a second chance to enter or own that market.”

Benchmark encourages our customers to leverage our optimized global supply chain to take full advantage of our locations across North America, Europe, and Asia. Not only do these critical services help our teams deliver world-class design and manufacturing services, but they ensure your products get to market on time.

Trend #3:   De-risking Supply Chains

According to Medical Product Outsourcing (MPO), “rising labor costs and supply chain disruptions are causing medical device manufacturers to reevaluate their overseas outsourcing strategies.” (MPO) Although the cost of manufacturing remains a high priority, medical device companies are working to build more resilient supply chains, place production closer to consumers, and mitigate geo-political risks—but this is no easy feat.

As Benchmark’s Business Development Executives, Paul Keijser and Rienk Bijma point out, “while the in-region, for-region manufacturing model remains popular, other geographic strategies are on the rise as manufacturing disruptions lead companies to rethink their geographic risk exposure. For example, once a design is stable, a company may transfer production to a lower-cost location in-region... In other cases, a good option might be to move production to an ISO 13485:2016-certified site in Asia… to capitalize on low costs and automation process development.” (Compamed 2022: A Return to Innovation for the Medical Device Industry)

Supply chain management requires advanced planning and collaboration. Reestablishing a supply chain involves time, money, expertise, and strategic partnerships. As we move into 2023, supply chain issues will continue to create challenges across industries and the medical device industry is certainly not immune. Working with a development and manufacturing partner with significant medical engineering and manufacturing experience in the United States and the European Union—a partner that also offers an established global footprint—will help you drive resilience, enhance sustainability, and hasten your product to market.

Benchmark—When It Matters

Benchmark opened its doors more than 40 years ago as a manufacturing subsidiary of a medical device company. With comprehensive medical certifications, a passion for innovation, and a stellar team of engineers and manufacturers, Benchmark is honored to be recognized as a leading EMS for medical technologies. Our unique set of capabilities and our healthy global footprint help you bring your products to market faster and scale them up.

When it matters, turn to Benchmark.

Medical Miniaturization

about the author

Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson is one of Benchmark's Business Development Executives, focused on sales and customer satisfaction for product development and manufacturing for Medical Technologies. Throughout her extensive career in the EMS industry, Susan has worked in electronic product development, management, and business development. Susan holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Iowa and an M.B.A from the University of St. Thomas.

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