Our central service has been industrial design for medical technology and laboratory products since 1997. This specialization for medical design and technology includes products for OR, intensive care units, hospital rooms, doctors’ surgeries, dental practices, laboratories, rehabilitation and home use. For each of these segments, we have designed and put various products on the market. To our knowledge, Held+Team is the sole industrial design office in Europe which focuses 100% on the medical technology and design niche and generates its revenues exclusively from this sector.
Our staff has a combined 70 years of experience in industrial design in medical technology (medical design technology) through long-lasting co-operations with industry players of the medical market like Olympus, B. Braun, Trumpf, Mettler Toldeo, Maquet, Paul Hartmann, Bowa, Heine, Eppendorf and many other companies and groups. This allows easier entry into new medical areas, for which we design further innovative and unique products with our experience and expertise. More than 150 design awards for medical design technology (MDT) products underline this special know-how.
Industrial design in medical technology (medical design technology) is marked by the request of users for perfect practicality. Perhaps more than in other product sectors, because the focus is placed on the recovery and maintenance of the health of patients. Play with designs and trendy inspirations are also out of place here as most of the products have a very long service life and are manufactured in the same style for many years, sometimes unchanged for decades. In addition, the time to develop a product has drastically increased in the last years due to regulatory requirements; it often amounts to 4 years and more (record being 8 years). The design of the products thus has to be timeless and free from anything fashionable in order to survive. It may take 10 to 15 years from the decision on a design in the development process, through its appearance on the market and ultimate retirement. Compared to consumer goods, this is an incredibly long time. A number of products which we designed in the early years of Held+Team, at the end of the 1990s, are still on the market unchanged.
Industrial design in medical technology
Industrial and medical design in medical technology is characterized by usability and reliability. User observation and user surveys are thus an essential part of project work. Ergonomics studies, supported by models, are the most important communication channel to users. This is the only medium through which we may experience whether, for instance, a handle or a move fully meets their expectations – whether the usability is confirmed. For many products, iterations on the international market are inevitable in order to achieve a constructive and financially convincing solution. Necessary documentation of usability and risk management are familiar terms to us as they are an essential part of project work. We are thus able to prepare documents on request of our customers, which they can use for FDA, TÜV and other audits.
Of course, economic aspects play an increasing role in the development of such products. Reduced budgets for doctors and hospitals require better services from manufacturers at lower prices. This calls for our experience with process engineering in medical technology and of all related constructive requirements. An IV set which is produced for few cents 300 million times a year naturally requires a completely different constructive approach than that for the production of a video endoscope, which is only produced 1,000 times at a 5-digit price. Apart from know-how on procedures, close teamwork between the R+D departments is indispensable, which is performed by use of 3D CAD, Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Tooling. Speaking one language and being able to exchange data at any time immensely shortens development periods and results in better, more favorable solutions.
Specializing in medical design technology (MDT)
In sports, only professionals are capable of achieving top performances – an excellent rower would certainly never be a high-class ski jumper. We are convinced to have special competence in the design of medical technology and laboratory products owing to our specialization and experience. Collaboration with our customers extending over 10 years in many cases certainly testifies to our high level of competence in this field.