Nitinol Devices and Components recently had an idea for changing the design of stents used to open blocked blood vessels: Make them out of a shape-memory alloy rather than stainless steel. Question: Would the alloy stand up to the rigors of the human body, including the average 40 million beats the human heart has per year?
Prototype testing to see if it would work would have been tough. So Nitinol used Abaqus software to simulate the behavior of the material within a blood vessel. Result: the material acted as expected. The stents are available now and, says Nitinol, working well.
Cost, product development rigor, the patient-as-a-user movement, and consumer electronics that include wireless connectivity are just a few hot topics swirling around medical devices. Each brings challenges that create innovation opportunities. If we briefly look at each one, we can see that one common need will be innovation in simplicity.
The supply chain will change significantly over the next 10 years as industry 4.0 technology enhances supply chain performance, according to the 2015 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Supply Chain Innovation — Making the impossible possible.”
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