For New Medical Device Ideas, Observe Clinical Procedures

While looking through a book titled "Biodesign: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies," I found this quote from surgeon and famed inventor Thomas Fogarty:  Innovators tend to go out and ask doctors what they want rather than observe what they need. When you talk to physicians, as well as others involved in the delivery of care, you’ve got to learn the difference between what they say, what they want, what they’ll pay for and what they actually do.

November 15, 2011

1 Min Read
For New Medical Device Ideas, Observe Clinical Procedures

While looking through a book titled "Biodesign: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies," I found this quote from surgeon and famed inventor Thomas Fogarty:  

Innovators tend to go out and ask doctors what they want rather than observe what they need. When you talk to physicians, as well as others involved in the delivery of care, you’ve got to learn the difference between what they say, what they want, what they’ll pay for and what they actually do. 

As the book explains, it's much more effective to see how cllinicans act to a sitatuation and watch for problems to arise naturally. 

So, it was interesting that an article on the very topic of clinical observation was submitted recently to MD+DI. Titled "Using Clinical Observation to Facilitate Medical Device Commercialization," the article provides advice on observing clinical procedures. 

In a recent e-mail correspondence, one of the article's co-authors, Jeffrey Groom II, provided some additional advice to those lacking an extensive medical background. Being thoroughly familar with the procedure under observation is "very important especially for surgery," Groom writes. "Something could be done differently during the course of the procedure that is a deviation from the norm, and if you are not familiar with the techniques or medical background than this will not be immediately obvious."

When asked for general advice on what to keep in mind during a procedure, Groom explained that "key to observing is to keep an open mind and be knowledgeable about the situation. Providing specific things to look for is not specifically useful as the observer often focuses on these aspects and may miss other important observations," he notes. "The real analysis should be done after you go back to analyze the data or observation you made."

Brian Buntz

Sign up for the QMED & MD+DI Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like