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December 1975

The Physician, the Manufacturer, and Medical Devices

Author Affiliations

From the Monaghan Company, A Division of Sandoz, Inc., Littleton, Colo (Dr Bruner) and the Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston (Dr Drinker).

Arch Surg. 1975;110(12):1511-1515. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360180081018

• Better communication between physicians and manufacturers of medical devices is becoming increasingly important due to wider usage of these devices, as well as more intense scrutiny by consumer interest groups. Physicians should therefore have more complete knowledge of techniques of new product development.

A new product typically passes through at least six stages, as follows: (1) idea conception; (2) merit and feasibility study; (3) design and testing; (4) production preparation; (5) market preparation; and (6) marketing. These steps are completed over a period of several years at an ever increasing cost.

We propose that interaction procedures be undertaken so as to enhance direct physician-manufacturer communications in the medical device arena. Some possible techniques of improving these communications include the direct training of physicians and manufacturers in each other's problems, the establishment of hospital engineering groups, the placement of medical consultants in industry, and the active participation in device standards-generating groups and other groups of mutual interest.

(Arch Surg 110:1511-1515, 1975)