I find it so interesting how small these type of components can actually get, but you're right that it's a bit pricey at the moment. Still, I think it would have some really valuable usages, especially for medical devices. The price surely will eventually come down, no?
Elizabeth, sometimes the high cost is worth it. Using the example Charles stated in the article, imagine your doctor told you you needed the ingestible endoscope procedure and your doctor posed two choices:
The regular ingestible endoscope at one price (and its horse-pill size), and a new one that is 20% more expensive but the size of a regular Tylenol capsule.
The higher cost might very well be worth it when choking down a monster pill of an endoscope.
A point well illustrated, TJ, and I think you're right here. Sometimes it is worth it to pay a little extra for convenience and, in this case, comfort and well-being, especially when health is concerned.
That's a good thing, Chuck, even though both you and TJ point out that sometimes the cost is worth it. I know personally I will pay a little extra for something because I do believe you get what you pay for. Health is one place where skimping wouldn't be such a great option.
@Elizabath: Indeed there are certain things which should consider as high priority than the cost. Health industry is one example for it. Quality plays a major role in these areas / industries and it should be focused in a much higher manner. So in such scenarios cost factor becomes secondary.
The Medical Device industry is an odd market place. The volume for products is not really that high, and if you have a unique device you can pretty much charge what ever you want, and company's do (sorry patients).
One of the strangest aspects to the industry is the reuse of disposable devices, like tubing sets. It's not that big of an issue in large, industrial nations, but in smaller countries tubing sets for various procedures are sometimes reused. Devices now try to track the tubing sets to make certain that they are not used more than once. As the tubing sets become more expensive, because of the electronics to prevent reuse, you then start to see bootleg tubing sets of dubious quality. Certainly worse than getting a bootleg Carolina Herrara bag.
Right now, an ingestible enoscope is big -- a pill measuring 25 mm long and 10 mm in diameter. I'd have to be pretty sick to agree to swallow a pill that large. That's why, as TJ points out, there will be applications for this technology before the cost comes down.
True Elizebeth its seems to be that the company is practicing marketskiming pricing at the introductory level.
Anyway, when it comes to medical devices its still in the affordable level by the individuals.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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