Aligned Elements is a Medical Device application lifecycle management (ALM) solution enabling fast development and regulatory compliance through improved Design History File management.

February 09 2017

Our friends at Qadvis has grown steadily over the last couple of years and this is no wonder.

qadvislogo

These guys are co-authors of many of the standards you use today. If you have questions about ISO 13485, IEC 62304, IEC 80001-1 or IEC 60601-1, who would be better to ask than the person who actually penned it? 

I can highly recommend their services and advice. Just recently the Qadvis Team put together a ton of Quality and Regulatory material for download on their website. For free!

Go take a look!

 

November 17 2016

You spend too much time and money on documentation.

Agreed?

Good.

So what is your plan?

The regulations of the medical device industry requires us to produce a pretty hefty chunk of documentation to show that the device is safe and efficient. If the documentation is not compliant, then it does not matter how safe, secure and performant the device itself it. Therefore, the documentation aspect that receives the largest share of attention is compliance. The most common path to a compliant stack of documents is to throw heaps of man-hours at the problem. Quantity seems to be the weapon of choice in many firms.

As a consequence, a large number of people gets involved in the documentation creation and maintenance, especially people residing the R&D part of the organization as most companies do not have Document Officers or documentation experts in their organization.

However, engineers and scientists are not necessarily the best writers (And they probably have no ambition to be.) Staff who are necessary for other tasks struggle to find the time to write tehse documents, and so the documents they do produce may be of lower quality than their usual work.

The effect on these people is often a suffocating feeling of inefficiency and a frustration of spending an un-proportionally large part of the working day on menial documentation tasks, deciphering SOP:S and unpractical standards to compile documents that no-one reads (apart from the auditor).

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Our studies show that up to 30% of the total project effort is spent on documentation required by regulations. There is also an overwhelming consensus in the industry that this is a far too much. Money and time is inefficiently spent and morale buckles as the workload increases.

The good news is that these problems can be fixed. The bad news is that you are going to lose time, money and people until you fix them.

Excelling at documentation efficiency is not intuitive to many R&D-centric organization. However, considering the situation described above, good documentation practices is an investment. In the medical device industry, it is even a competitive dimension.

Your company can be efficient!!

Some good starting points are:

  • Make documentation efficiency a prioritized objective using measurable goals
  • Assign a responsible Manager
  • Set up a tight collaboration between the people writing templates and SOPs (Quality people) and the people using the templates and SOPs (R&D people)
  • Analyze your documentation processes
  • Apply the right software tools to automate documentation tasks

You can start right away!

Download our Medical Device Documentation Self-assessment paper and take a few minutes to complete it. We assure you that you will have started the road to a more efficient documentation within the next 15 minutes!

October 29 2016

A few years ago we could read articles claiming "Exoskeletons will one day replace wheelchairs". That the FDA regulates these kind of devices is a clear sign that they are about to enter the mass market.

Miniaturization of electronics, a steep drop in manufacturing costs of mechatronic parts, increased computational power, more powerful batteries. A number of recent technical developments converge into the realization of exoskeletons growing nearer and nearer.

In this rapidly expanding field, competitors are scrambling to put their new models onto the market.

exoskeleton

In the beginning of 2015 FDA announced that power exoskeletons will be classified as Class II devices with Special Controls, which clarified the regulatory situation for these kinds of wearable devices. The special controls have been put in place to address a number of risk factors identified by FDA to be associated with the usage of powered exoskeletons.

For those used to medical device development, both the risks as well as the suggested requirements are straight forward. They include among other things, thermal and electric safety, biocompatibility and the obvious risk of falling to the ground.

To help exoskeleton manufacturers getting up and running with their documentation, we provided the Aligned Elements Exoskeleton Extension Package containing:

  • 9 Potential Hazards (including mitigation strategies) outlined as exoskeleton associated risk factors by the FDA
  • 38 exoskeleton Special Control Requirements deduced from 21 CFR Part 890 Docket No. FDA-2014-N-1903

This will give manufacturers a predefined starting point of setting up their Design History File with the intention of accelerating the documentation effort.

The Aligned Elements Exoskeleton Extension Package is downloadable here: Aligned Elements Exoskeleton Extension Package

 

September 29 2016

We are participating in the Med Conf 2016 25-28 October with our lecture "Death by Documentation - how to identify documentation inefficiencies in your medical device development process"

If you ar interested in how to assess the documentation process in order to find process inefficiencies in your own company, then this one is for you!

The lecture is held by our CEO Anders Emmerich on 27. October at 14:10.

Find the complete agenda here.

If you want to meet us during the conference, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll set up an appointment!

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September 27 2016

The Swiss Medtech Industry Sector study surveyed more than 340 medical device companies in this year’s SMTI industry study, uncovering the current opinions and views in the Swiss Med tech market.

The study claims that "the ever increasing quality and documentation requirements" and the difficulty to "preserve innovative capacity" are the primary challenges to remain competitive in the current market.

For those of us working in the industry for some time, this does not come as a surprise.

Knowing the dynamics operating in medical device development, it is obvious how these two challenges inter-relate. How is it possible to sustain competitive and innovative R&D program when more and more of the development effort is devoted to satisfying regulatory and documentation requirements?

Download the study here: Swiss Med Tech Study 2016

Our own studies show that up to 30% of the total medical device development effort is spent on documentation tasks. As in many other industries, digitalization of processes offers some prospects of streamlining the medical device documentation burden.

Our users say that significant efficiency improvements can be done by applying the right tools. Download your free copy today or ask us for a free online presentation.

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