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Product development

The development of a product from concept through prototyping and testing to product realisation can be a costly and lengthy process. It can be very easy to waste time and money if the correct steps are not taken in the right order. If you are new to the process, engaging experienced partners and consultants at an early stage could help you navigate the way most efficiently.

Top tips for product development

1 – Evaluate your idea honestly

Does the idea have value to other people? Is there a real need? Will people pay for it? What is already out there? Has the same idea already been patented? Do other solutions address the same problem just as well, or even better? Do the costs add up?

2 – Understand the regulatory framework

There are a variety of regulatory frameworks that could apply to your product. Medical devices in particular have a number of regulatory requirements and quality standards that must be met. It is really important that you understand these in advance as some standards can apply to the early stages of development and could delay your project if not addressed until further down the line.

Standards can sometimes be found in public libraries – for example, the Manchester Central Library has a Business and Intellectual Property Centre which provides free access to a comprehensive collection of business and intellectual property databases and publications.

3 – Explore all your options

Don’t just pursue one route – explore alternatives to the idea you have come up with. This is especially important for the development of medical devices, which, in order to meet ISO13485, must have included investigation and risk analysis of alternative solutions. This should be done before you apply for a patent to avoid delaying the patent process once it is started or even potentially invalidating your patent, thereby allowing others to develop your idea.

4 – Find the best partners

A product development project needs good leadership to stay on track. It is important to involve key stakeholders – clinicians, patients, other users – early on, but strong, commercially-minded leadership is needed to drive the project forwards and develop a commercially successful product.

Partnering with experienced consultants with expertise in product design, regulatory issues and NHS engagement can be extremely beneficial for innovators with little experience of developing a product for the NHS market.  Seeking advice early on can make sure that you take the appropriate steps in the right order and don’t waste time having to back-track to tasks that should have been done earlier.

5 – Expect to pay!

Costs to develop a product from concept to product realisation vary widely depending on the product and its use. Whatever your product, it will probably cost more than you first imagine. Seek expert advice to get a realistic idea of costs from the start.

Product Development Associates Product Development Associates

Lucid Innovation

Lucid Innovation is a professional industrial design and creative engineering team that has helped organisations develop their competitiveness with innovative, sustainable product ideas, design,...

Kershaw Technology Services

Kershaw Technology Services is a consultancy based in Cheshire, with clients across the UK, specializing in regulatory compliance for Medical devices particularly in product development. ...

TRUSTECH

TRUSTECH is an NHS organisation that aims to improve healthcare through the development of innovative products and services. TRUSTECH works with NHS organisations, companies and regional,...

Fab Lab Manchester

Fab Labs – digital fabrication laboratories – were set up to inspire people and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into new products and prototypes by giving them access to a range of advanced...

Intrada Creative

Intrada Creative is an award winning digital design agency. UX/UI design solutions for both web and mobile Specialise in native iOS and Android design and development Mobile...

Medilink North West

Medilink North West is a membership-based professional organisation with a remit to stimulate growth and innovation in the medical and health technology sector throughout the North West. It...

ORCHA

ORHCA are the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications. Their mission is to help the public and health care professionals meet their health and wellbeing targets...

Kasmir Consulting

Providing  Human Resources Solutions including Recruitment, Training, Organisational Design, Cultural Design and advice on Employee Engagement.  Additionally supporting clients in...

MAE Consulting Group

MAE Consulting Group specialises in regulatory affairs, clinicial affairs, project management and compliance services support to SMEs with a focus on the medtech and in vitro diagnostics sectors....

NRJ Solutions

We can help you transform your service or business by increasing value to your clients and customers through improving quality and reducing cost We provide the expertise to deliver change and...

Kershaw Technology Services

Kershaw Technology Services is a consultancy based in Cheshire, with clients across the UK, specializing in regulatory compliance for Medical devices particularly in product development. ...

Other resources Other resources

IDC Inventors Guide

Free inventorurs guide developed by the Industrial Design Consultancy Ltd.

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