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Why Medical Device Prototyping is Essential for Creating a Market-Ready Product

October 8, 2020

In today’s technologically-advanced world, there’s a tremendous opportunity for medical device innovators to translate their concepts into prototypes capable of having a profound impact on the future of healthcare. For creators, medical device prototyping serves as an exciting and crucial part of the product development process. As preliminary design images are crafted, it takes the idea from conceptualization to a physical entity. 

After all, introducing a clinically-meaningful product to the market is both immensely rewarding and satisfying. But, as the man who illuminated the world with light, Thomas Edison, would say, it can be a complex and arduous path from identifying a need in the marketplace and actually making the device a reality. 

The Importance of Prototyping to Develop a New Medical Device

There are a plethora of revolutionary ideas that could usher in a new generation of treatment modalities for certain ailments and conditions that sadly never come to fruition – all because the inventor doesn’t have the faintest clue where to begin developing a working prototype. On a similar note, all too often, the excitement of bringing a new medical device to market results in the temptation to bypass critical procedural elements – ones that must take place before and after prototyping. This is typically seen when there are financial constraints present. 

However, building a cursory proof-of-concept prototype is an effective means for reducing expenditure. Within the medical device engineering process, comes the opportunity for individuals or companies to assess and evaluate their concept and make strategic decisions to improve upon its design and capabilities. Physical samples also allow manufacturers to analyze the efficacy of the design, which is an important part of the journey towards large-scale production and distribution. 

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How The Medical Device Prototyping Process Works

There are four main stages associated with the prototyping process. Here’s a quick look:

Alpha prototypes: Because these prototypes typically aren’t operational, it can reduce the time and cost needed for production. Manufacturers leverage these 3D-printed prototypes as a means for inspecting and evaluating product dimensions. 

Beta prototypes: Built using enhanced manufacturing techniques, Beta prototypes are functional, but aesthetically, their design will likely differ from the final product. These prototypes are utilized as a way to capture investor interest, test product functionality, eliminate any manufacturer flaws, and gather consumer feedback. 

Pilot prototypes: Similar to beta prototypes, Pilot designs are meant to closely mirror what the final product will ultimately be. These prototypes are leveraged for clinical trials and even soft launches. They also provide the bandwidth for exacting material specifications and design. 

Final product: As the name suggests, this represents the finalized design. The product is the result of any modifications, enhancements, or changes made to previous prototypes. 

Medical Device Engineering Done Right

At RapidMade, we can help you effectively test, modify, and validate concepts by building functional medical device prototypes and models designed to transform your innovative ideas into life-changing products. Budget-conscious and timely, we lean on our extensive expertise to ensure your prototyping travels seamlessly from point A to point B during the development process.


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