Innovation Archives | MedtoMarket
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Benefits of Hands-On Training in a Bioskills Lab

What are the benefits of a bioskills lab to the medical community?

While the role of theoretical knowledge is critical to the medical field, the economic concept of hands-on training at a bioskills lab training facility also plays an integral part in the learning process. The rationale behind learning-by-doing is an increase in productivity achieved through self-practice, perfection, and minor innovations. This translates into getting products to market and in the hands of end-users faster and more effectively, ultimately bringing positive cash flow to startups.

Optimize Your Team With Hands-on Training

Utilizing a bioskills lab to perform and perfect new or existing procedures benefits both surgical teams and their patients. Surgeons, nurses, and technicians who learn and apply their skills in a real-world setting such as the bioskills lab at HeLiX Coworking achieve the necessary finesse to effectively transition from the treatment of cadavers to live patients.

Medical innovation is not without its challenges and translating theories and innovations into real world applications exposes the potential issues that end users might experience. Combining this theory with a state-of-the-art bioskills lab like the one offered at HeLix CoWorking, medical innovators can teach colleagues, doctors, nurses, and end-users new skills, more effective surgical techniques, and the proper integration of new medical devices and technologies with a minimal output of time and capital. Practice makes perfect and perfection is never more important than it is in the surgical theatre.

Get Your Product to Market Faster

In addition to the enhanced learning experience provided by hands on training in a bioskills lab, there are practical issues at play as well. Involving everyone from techs to nurses to surgeons in the bioskills lab accelerates product development by offering the unique perspectives of each member of the teams who will be using them in the field. The narrow focus of innovators or surgeons alone may miss an issue that would be blatantly obvious to a technician or nurse. By inviting entire teams to work together in the bioskills lab, startups have the advantage of gaining valuable insight from multiple end users.

Challenges can be met head on in a setting that mimics those found in hospitals. From the perspective of getting a new device to market, time in a bioskills lab provides the FDA and other regulatory agencies with evidence that proper safety protocols and quality control are already in place and were used throughout the development process. Because MedtoMarket also provides medical consulting, startups can seek out more experienced innovators for advice on getting products to market in the most effective way possible. This mitigates risk and maximizes reward for startups.

Everything Is Provided – Just Bring Your Team

In the MedtoMarket bioskills lab, you can expect to find all of the same equipment you would in a real-world hospital setting. In fact, it is one of the top bioskills labs in the country. MedtoMarket has invested in creating a state-of-the-art bioskills lab. Everything you need is right at your fingertips.

Capable of accommodating up to sixty or seventy surgeons at once or paring down for a more intimate setting, MedtoMarket provides a flexible and affordable place for medical innovators to learn, teach, and perfect the lifesaving practices of tomorrow. In addition to in person training, MedtoMarket has the capability of outfitting the bioskills lab with video equipment to remotely reach an even wider audience. Scrubs in various sizes, PPE, basic surgical instruments, human specimens, and equipment are all provided. The cadavers are treated with the utmost respect and their remains are returned to the family for cremation in accordance with all state and federal laws.

Centrally Located in Austin, TX

The bioskills lab is available seven days a week. While thirty days notice is preferrable, MedtoMarket has arranged reservations in the bioskills lab on shorter notice. Centrally located in Austin, TX, MedtoMarket is convenient to hospital, hospital, university, and university. Out-of-town guests will appreciate how close the lab is to several hotels in the area. Because it can be reserved in hourly increments, the bioskills lab is particularly attractive to startups that may not have large cash reserves available. Along with the lab, adjacent working space is available by the hour as well.

With the medical community in Austin growing at a rapid pace, the bioskills lab offered at HeLiX brings resources to medical entrepreneurs that were once only available at top universities. Medical enrepreneurs in the central United States can now more easily compete with their counterparts on the East Coast.

Want expert insight into the medical on-hands training? Set up a consultation and see how we can help speed up your time to market. Contact MedtoMarket today by calling 512-900-9633.

MedToMarket To Launch HeLiX Innovation Center

Where will the next revolutionary innovation in medical devices or life sciences come from?

Maybe right now, in some young genius’s bedroom, a world changing device is being developed. Don’t laugh. Apple I, the first Apple computer, was made in Steve Wozniak’s bedroom. But there might be a better place for this kind of work.

Silicon Hills – Austin, TX

Austin, TX has firmly established itself as the new U.S. tech hotspot. In biotech alone the city attracted $100 million in investment in 2015. This new wave of progress is highlighted by the 2016 opening of Dell Medical School along with hundreds of biotech startups already calling Austin home.

Now, many other of medical, life science, and healthcare startups are eyeing Austin as a key strategic location, much like Silicon Valley was on the verge of its heyday. This is an exciting time for our area. We plan to provide the space and resources that will help define Austin healthcare and biotech for the next generation.

Life Science CoWorking

Introducing HeLiX CoWorking Lab for Life Science Companies

In response to this unique opportunity, MedtoMarket is launching HeLiX – a co-working space for research, development, and collaboration in the medical, healthcare and life science sectors. By sharing space and costs, biotech and medical device companies have access to resources that might otherwise be unreachable at an early stage.


HeLiX will be the place where innovation, collaboration, and research intertwine to bring forth some of the greatest medical advances of our century.

Ideal members are:

  • Members of the Medical – Life Science – Healthcare Fields
  • Medical Device Industry
  • Medical & Biotech Startups
  • Physician & Nurse Consultants
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Dental Industry

Ecosystem Of Innovation

HeLiX is more than just shared office space in an upscale setting. The project promises to be a melting pot of ideas and exchange. Close contact with others on the cutting edge of science will provide the synergy so valuable to ventures of this kind.

Plus, all members have access to the expert Medical Consulting offered by MedtoMarket. This includes R&D, testing, marketing, sales, and business planning advice. Our state of the art bioskills lab, mock OR, human factors engineering room, dental room, and clinician patient studio all add to the valuable resources available to HeLiX members.

Industry Disruptor

Like many industry transforming ideas, HeLiX is disruptive. This is because it offers the highest quality facilities and resources in a non-institutional setting. This means no barriers to entry and no old guard making claims to any research or projects at HeLiX. All intellectual property and project strategy control remains exclusively with the member only. Consultation is available, but by no means binding or obligatory.

The Best Of All Worlds for Your Office and Lab

A plush stylish office and community setting, state-of-the-art facilities, close contact to new and seasoned innovators – it almost sounds too good to be true. But this dream is becoming a reality with HeLiX.

Want to be a part of the newest collaborative ecosystem in the hottest U.S. biotech center? Call 512-400-0194 to learn more

Internet of Things & Cyber Risk

The Internet of Things (IoT) creates many opportunities for medical device makers.

But if it’s connected, it can be hacked. Forward thinkers in the industry are examining the growing threat of cyber security and how it impacts product safety and viability. Let’s see why.

Improved Efficiency & Care

Online interconnectivity provides enhanced efficiency and communication. For instance, wireless capabilities allow for data to be downloaded from pacemaker and defibrillators (ICDs) to the doctor’s office. This makes life easier for patients and practitioners, and it improves quality of care.

Home monitoring can alert physicians, in real-time, about any significant events even in the absence of symptoms. Furthermore, automatic adjustments can be made without direct intervention. We can even envision doctors tweaking device parameters at a distance.

What’s The Risk?

Today, hackers can control automobiles from a laptop. Steering, braking, even acceleration can be taken over. Imagine the implications if someone hacked your patient’s pacemaker or ICD?

Early in February 2014, Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device maker, Boston Scientific and St. Jude Medical experienced a high level cyber security breach. The attacks were “very thorough” and may have come from China. The exact motives of the attacks continue to remain hidden.


We can invent all kinds of conspiracy theories behind why these things take place. But motives such as financial gain or a competitor’s dirty tricks don’t require much imagination. Cybercrime is big business generating costs of $455 billion per year worldwide.

Picture a criminal, holding your company hostage. If you don’t pay, they’ll start shutting down your devices. Is your cyber security plan prepared for such a scenario? Do you even have a strategy in place? If anything, the tech world expects an increase in ransomware cases, and the medical industry is notoriously vulnerable and unprepared.

The Reality

Since medical devices can be hacked, the onus of prevention lies upon the manufacturer. This must be an integral part of design and development. Criminals look for easy prey, and the less prepared enterprises could be setting themselves up for disaster.

For years, experts like Dr. Kevin Fu, Associate Professor in Computer Sciences, Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, have been warning about the risks of malware and viruses (cyber, that is) to patient health. The FDA offers some guidance on the topic, but it is far from comprehensive.

Future Challenges

Just like in every other industry, a tsunami of interconnected software is entering the medical device market. The implications, both good and bad, are enormous.

As products increase in number and complexity, cyber risk grows. For the manufacturer, this means another layer of planning, development, testing, and validation that must be considered. For the FDA, the situation calls for the formation of a task force, calling in leading technology experts, to tackle this issue head on.

We shouldn’t fear the leverage technology provides us, but we must never forget our primary responsibility is to “do no harm.”

Learn about in-depth medical consultation to improve your product’s position and safety. Contact MedtoMarket at (512) 900-9633 or request a free consultation today.

Surgical Mesh in the Innovation Marketplace

When we think of medical device technologies and innovations, “surgical mesh” is not a product that pops to the front of our minds. After all, surgeons have been using the same basic type of woven polypropylene mesh for decades. It is not an area that is currently open to rapid advancements or true hi-tech innovations.

Surgeons at bioskills lab training facility MedtoMarket in operating roomWell why not? It is because the biggest innovation in hernia mesh use occurred nearly 30 years ago with Dr. Lichtenstein’s introduction of “tension-free” repairs with the use of mesh. That technique truly revolutionized hernia surgery, and dropped the recurrence rates significantly.

Since the introduction of tension-free groin hernia repairs came along, that concept has spread to the repair of ventral, or incisional, hernias as well. The surgical techniques have advanced with better understanding of the anatomy by more surgeons, and the use of procedures such as muscle components separation and retro-rectus repairs.

Making Disruptive Advances in Surgical Mesh Innovation

The synthetic meshes being used have had significant advances through the years, but nothing truly “disruptive” that has been adopted universally. There have been light-weight meshes, layered meshes, non-stick meshes, balloon-deployed meshes, biologic pig and human skin meshes, antibiotic meshes, and more recently absorbable meshes. The costs of all of these meshes to the patient and system are extraordinarily high, and the profit margins for the manufacturers follow suit.

Improving Success Rate in the Surgical Suite

The success rates for these meshes are fantastic, but amazingly, not significantly better in straightforward cases than ordinary mosquito netting used in some developing countries! The competition for the next-best mesh is fierce, but I expect it will likely be just another small iteration on the same product that has worked well for many years. New mesh products are rolled out every few months as both big companies and small fight for a piece of this huge market, with hundreds of thousands of repairs done each year.

Do you want to bring significant disruption to the hernia repair marketplace? It does not lay in searching for a magnificent newly patented form of a mesh. Instead, you should introduce a version of the tried and true synthetics used for many years, but instead of marking it up 1,000%, take a 40% margin and you will own the market.

Engage in a Bioskills Lab & for you medical device with quality control that will optimize your innovation.

Invest in your company’s product to save money and time with a bioskills lab with a wide range of services and amenities. Contact MedtoMarket at (512) 900-9633 or request a free consultation today.

How a Bioskills Lab Will Uncover End User Needs

The consolidation that has occurred in the healthcare marketplace in the last several years is certainly giving integrated healthcare systems great clout when negotiating with suppliers, especially medical device manufactures. Many of the major healthcare networks are forming their own usability teams to ensure they play an active role in the procurement process. This creates a great contradiction between the customer and the user, which are often not the same.

True End User Feedback

It is no secret that in this environment you are selling to a multidisciplinary team but are you getting the support and feedback necessary to make your value proposition effective? With medical devices your customer is not always the user. While the procurement department does have legitimate knowledge about the overall system and its infrastructure and how implementable a device will be within that environment they won’t actually use the device, and in some cases they may not even talk to the users before making the decision. So how do we create a value proposition that will be effective? There really is only one way, get your device in the hands of the users early and often.

Some device makers truly believe that user feedback is important, but mistakenly think that users either are too busy or not interested in working with manufacturers to improve device designs. We have found that these are perceived barriers. In our experience the users are very open to sharing about the problems they are having with a device or providing input on how the device could be better.

Refine Your Design to Meet the End User Needs

Medical device manufacturers must step up their game. Incorporating usability early and often in all stages of development which will save costs in the long run. Incorporating BioSkills Labs and Simulation labs that truly focus on the user experience will result in fewer design recalls, user issues, and pauses in your development process.

So to answer the question, who are you selling to? Both and it’s important to make your case to each stakeholder. Having the evidence and feedback from actual users will create champions for your product and certainly make your story more compelling to the customer, who often is the one writing the check.

Invest in end user feedback for your company’s product with a bioskills lab customized to your needs with a wide range of services and amenities.

Contact MedtoMarket at (512) 900-9633 or request a free consultation today.

Addressing the Needs of All From Manufacturer to End User

Surgeon in training lab at MedtoMarket bioskills labToday, a medical device manufacturer operates in a different world. With the changing landscape of the marketplace and increasing pressure to reduce cost yet still offer the highest quality of care, medical device companies are forced to look at things differently. Their sales model must change and provide proof, or at least the best early evidence of a product’s value to the market place. “If medical device companies want to continue to make money as prices face continued pressure, their only option is to take cost out.” This comment from the head of procurement at a major US healthcare provider neatly sums up today’s situation in the medical device industry.

Developing a Plan that Matches Your Customer’s Needs

Success in the current marketplace will require a deep understanding of all of the stakeholders needs – which is hard to get from a design office alone. Companies that attempt to match product features to their customers perceived needs must know who their customer is and what fuels their decisions to buy. The problem for device manufactures is that the fragmented decision making in the marketplace makes it difficult to understand the requirements of all the stakeholders. Additionally, each of these stakeholders will have an incomplete picture of a product’s attributes.  A payer most certainly will see a product differently than a doctor, nurse or surgical technician and vice versa.

Analyze the End Need to Validate Your Medical Device

It is important to gain the feedback that can only come from putting these stakeholders in the same room with each other to hash out their buying personae. Putting together focus groups of high volume practicing physicians, nurses, surgical technicians, and supply chain decision makers and analyzing their feedback is the single best way to get insight to this multi-stakeholder environment. Getting all of these stakeholders in a bioskills lab and collecting information from these interactions in a real-time simulation adds priceless value to the development and sales process. The earlier this information can be gained and put in to the development process the better companies will be able to develop not only products their end users want but also products they perceive as adding value and solving a problem they have longed to solve.

The Value of Using a Medical Consultant

So where does the value lie? To answer these questions medical device manufacturers must address the following: First, what product features their customers really need and how much they are willing to pay for them. Second, what the real link is between the true cost of the features and their customer’s perception of value. Addressing the needs of all the stakeholders and incorporating what is learned from focus groups and bioskills labs is what medical device manufacturers need to develop a value proposition that addresses the needs of all the different stakeholders and take cost out of the equation.

Would you like to consult with seasoned subject matter experts regarding your medical device change? Contact MedtoMarket at (512) 900-9633 or request a free consultation today.