Project Description

Case Study: Waste Not (Disposable Medical Sensor)

The Problem

Healthcare manufacturers have developed a variety of disposable at-home monitoring sensors, resulting in millions of tons of medical waste each year. These disposable sensors, intended to improve the quality of outpatient care, are constructed of lower-quality materials than their hospital counterparts and are often not as sensitive.

The chemical engineering team at a leading specialty chemical company recognized an opportunity to help reduce the volume of medical waste by developing new biodegradeable materials for use in disposable medical sensors. In order to assess the materials, properties, and characteristics required to meet industry standards for these sensors, the team needed to learn more about how disposable medical sensors were manufactured, calibrated, and used. In addition, the team recognized a potential opportunity to improve the durability and reliability of existing disposable medical sensors and wished to evaluate the potential market need for enhanced quality.

Critical Issues

Product Development     Market Landscaping      Quality Assurance

The Solution

Maven conducted an Electronic Survey of sensor experts, bioprocess engineers and disposable medical sensor manufacturers regarding the properties of the materials currently used in disposable medical sensors as well as their production methods, calibration techniques, and use cases. Within a week they had received insights from dozens of knowledgeable Mavens, including a colleague in another division of their company who had extensive previous experience with disposable medical device design and manufacturing. Through the Survey they identified the critical design, manufacturing, assembly, and operating environment considerations involved in bringing a high-quality disposable medical sensor to market. This in turn guided their development of appropriate biodegradable materials for this application.

“We felt like there was opportunity in the disposable medical sensor market, but we didn’t know how to reach the people who could help us to pinpoint that opportunity. Maven not only delivered what we needed quickly, but they delivered expertise from within our own company that we didn’t know was available.”

– Senior Engineer, New Product Development