Criteria for Design Software


July 1, 2006

3 Min Read
Criteria for Design Software

Originally Published MX July/August 2006


With a wide variety of product design software systems available, medtech companies have many options when it comes to choosing a system that will meet their needs. The experts contributing to this article identified a number of key criteria that their firms evaluate when selecting software systems for use in medical product design. Following are their observations.

Tor Alden, principal, HS Design Inc. (Gladstone, NJ): For us there were several key criteria in choosing our first CAD package: ease of use, power for complex surfacing, ability to integrate down the line to manufacturing, and, most important, the number of clients using the same package. We strategically selected Solidworks and Pro/Engineer based on the mechanical design capabilities we required, our prototyping needs, and the needs of our partners in contract manufacturing. We have found that by offering both of these programs, we can satisfy most of our clients.

Robert Howard, principal, medical engineering and design practice, Lunar Design (San Francisco): Our key criteria are ease of use, flexibility of design (power), the responsiveness and quality of software support, ongoing costs, and broad industry support.

Samuel Prabhakar, director, medical solutions practice, IBM Engineering and Technology Services (Rochester, MN): When selecting a software system to incorporate into a medical product, our technology collaboration solutions unit ensures that it is compliant with the requirements of the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). On top of this, we must have documentation of the system's design, the process followed for logging and handling errors, and, of course, proof of robustness of the design.

David C. Robson, development director, Ximedica LLC, an Item Group company (Providence, RI): Most importantly, we want and need the software to conform to our unique processes--not the other way around. We want to make sure that we do not change or compromise how we do business in order to fit the requirements or restrictions of the software.

Craig Scherer, senior partner, Insight Product Development (Chicago): It may sound pretty low-tech, but these decisions are usually made at a very micro, task-based level. We choose tools that offer the best solution for a specific need, and we spare no expense to accomplish the given task. However, it is rare that a tool is chosen solely for its ability to be integrated into the entire product development system. We still rely on project professionals to coordinate the various design inputs and create the final documentation package that supports our clients' needs.

Richard A. Tamburrino, engineering manager, Welch Allyn Inc. (Skaneateles Falls, NY): Our criteria include performance, value, compatibility, and ease of use.

John A. Verrant, vice president, engineering, Immunicon Corp. (Huntingdon Valley, PA): For both design and business management, our key criteria are licensing costs per user, the required computer platform, ability to add options as the company grows, and the overall cost of the software package. Going forward, compatibility with our supplier base; CAD/CAM capability; and the ability to communicate among business, regulatory, and design packages will also become important.

Copyright ©2006 MX

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