23 Sep Bringing the geko™ to market
According to the World Health Organisation, the global average life expectancy has increased by more than six years between 2000 and 2019 while the population grew by more than one billion. This is placing increased pressure on healthcare systems around the world.
Managing costs and maintaining efficiency
The COVID-19 pandemic required healthcare systems to act fast to find a solution to the virus and from this we have seen a flurry of healthcare innovation. Clinicians and healthcare professionals must keep the momentum of innovation continuing post-pandemic which means research and development leaders need to focus on improving efficiencies and reducing costs when bringing MedTech devices to market.
A 2018 report from the Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions found three key challenges within the R&D industry which have proven crucial to achieving efficient and cost-effective healthcare innovations: 1) more diverse product portfolios, 2) a faster time to market, 3) leveraging real-world evidence in product development. All of these can be applied to the work we do at Sky Medical Technology.
Collaboration is key
For our Head of Research and Development, Matthew Watts, bringing the geko™ device to market was not simple. Matthew’s team needed to transform our OnPulse™ technology into a medical device that could pass regulatory approval and be recommended by clinicians to patients as a viable alternative for the current standard of care.
The success of the geko™ device came down to the close collaboration between the R&D, manufacturing, clinical and regulatory functions and the commercial team. Collectively Matthew and his team were tasked with assembling our OnPulse™ technology into a reliable and effective wearable device which could be designed, iterated, manufactured and approved by regulatory administrations, such as NICE and the FDA. Through efficient collaboration and by focusing on the needs and requirements of the end user, the team were able to bring the geko™ to market while minimising risk and cost.
Hurdles to manoeuvre
A key consideration was ensuring that the device was comfortable to wear while considering the differences between patient preferences and varying levels of tolerance: too little stimulation may not shift the required blood effectively; too much could prove uncomfortable. To solve this issue, we incorporated an easy push button mechanism which increases and decreases the electrical pulse to help patients and clinicians find the optimum stimulation.
Issues with the manufacturing process needed to be identified quickly to prevent major delays and additional costs. At Sky we hold weekly meetings between the heads of R&D, regulatory and manufacturing to ensure that any issues are addressed swiftly, and that subsequent changes are incorporated early. When creating the geko™ device, we also outsourced manufacturing and product assembly to partners which can manufacture small batch prototypes so that changes could be tested and incorporated quickly and effectively.
Our R&D continues to deploy a collaborative approach across different business disciplines to deliver MedTech innovation that drives better patient outcomes. We are already collaborating on future versions of the geko™ device, based on feedback from users and clinicians, and will keeping using communication and partnerships to ensure that risks and costs are minimised.
Read more about how collaboration was key to bringing our geko™ device to market on MedTech News: https://www.med-technews.com/medtech-insights/latest-medtech-insights/how-collaboration-turned-patented-technology-into-a-medicall/