Focus on increased innovation and product development in healthcare.
Semcon is focusing efforts to become a product development centre for medical technology. During the spring, Semcon participated in a knowledge exchange with Sahlgrenska University Hospital in which doctors contribute to Semcon’s development projects with their expertise and Sahlgrenska enhances its capacity to increase innovation capability and product development in healthcare.
With in-depth expertise in the regulations applicable to medical products, Semcon can guide producers through to market penetration. Another, equally important area of expertise is the creative innovation process, which is hosted in Semcon Studios and brings together the work of producers and engineers.
These competencies combine to create a unique breadth that extends throughout the product development process, from idea to market introduction.
Sahlgrenska University Hospital focuses efforts on technology development in healthcare
Sahlgrenska has the ambition to enhance the knowledge held by doctors on how the innovation process behind product development works, and how to improve the ability of the activities to incorporate ideas and needs and drive technology development forward. Pontus Pfannenstill is a surgeon at the Östra Sjukhuset (Eastern Hospital) and the first to visit Semcon.
“It is clear that product development is moving faster for the consumer market than for healthcare. There is a great need for digitalisation in healthcare in order to provide benefits for both the activities and the patients”, says Pontus, who in parallel with his medical post is one of the participants in Sahlgrenska University Hospital’s recently launched Innovation and Technology Programme.
Interesting meetings at Semcon Studios
The purpose of the exchange is to establish a bridge between healthcare and the innovation aspect of product development. Interviews and meetings are held to create an understanding of all steps in the innovation process, from the initial insight phase to CAD and Design.
“It has been a real journey of Aha moments to see how something a bit fuzzy like ‘innovation’ is actually a very tangible and strategic process while also being extremely creative! An insight that has really opened doors to how we as doctors can move ahead with needs and ideas”, says Pontus.
The next step is to aggregate the insights and to share them in the training and support units such as Sahlgrenska Science Park and the Innovation Platform.
“The hope is to identify a process where ideas can be collected and have the opportunity to be tested under the right conditions. We already have several ideas to further develop”, continues Pontus.
Realisation in the activities
In addition to product development, one interesting area is how to develop and digitalise entire process flows, and not just individual elements of healthcare. It needs you to think outside the box a little, it is easy to continue to work in your established patterns. Especially when you consider that healthcare today runs at such a high capacity that it rarely allows time to test new development ideas.
It can also be difficult to dare to advocate new ideas and changes because right from the start you cannot be sure that the hospital will be convinced by or use your idea. But with the right support and network, we can incorporate the ideas and find ways to increase realisation and drive development forward.
For Semcon’s part, the opportunity to be on board and follow the needs and users of medtech products in real time is extremely valuable for quality assurance and contributes an important insight into product development.
“To be able to nimbly further develop and simplify the products so that they suit both the various steps and processes is very important. It is often the case that inadequately tested products are used in the wrong way; or rather do not meet the real need. Sometimes these tests can provide insights not only for us but also for the user”, says Magnus.