The toxic killers of medical device innovation

05/05/2014

Kablooe is an odd name for a design firm that works extensively in the medical device field, but it begins to make sense when you know the origins of the Minneapolis-based company.

"Kablooe started around 23 years ago working with toys," says Tom Kramer, President. "We began doing some work for medical technology companies and discovered that we liked it. So, about 14 years ago, we made a concerted effort to go into medical product design," explains Kramer. The reason? "We found using the creative process to help people to be very rewarding," says Kramer. Today, approximately 70% of Kablooe's business comes from the medical space. Kramer will be leading a workshop at the Medical Design & Manufacturing East Conference in New York in June on the subject of "Removing the toxic killers to healthy innovation." He agreed to share insights on some of those "killers" with PlasticsToday in advance of the event.

Don't listen to hearsay
In the course of product development, "you're searching for the truth, just like in a court of law," says Kramer, and, in either case, you should not allow yourself to be led astray by hearsay. "The marketing and sales folks are going to tell you, 'all of the doctors want this.' It happens all the time," says Kramer, and many designers take that route because it's the path of least resistance. "Instead, you need to find out what motivates the person to use the product in a certain way." As Henry Ford once said, if he had listened to his customers, he would have designed a faster horse.
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