Design For Life: A visit to the British Ministry of Health & Social Care
In the end of March 2023, the UK Department of Health and Social Care organised the Event „Design For Life“.
The goal was to develop a deeper understanding of barriers in the medical technology sector through various workshops, roundtable discussions, and poster presentations. Since this sector moves forward towards to reuse, remanufacturing and material recovery. Throughout various workshops, roundtable discussions, and poster presentations, the goal was to achieve a deeper understanding of barriers in medical technology as it moves toward greater reuse, remanufacturing, and materials recovery.
Specifically, the following six issues were addressed to identify the necessary conditions for a change:
1. Product design
How does the product design effects or enables the best possible end-of-life reuse, remanufacturing, and material recovery?
2. Clinical efficacy and safety
What processes are needed to ensure the efficacy and safety of products in the circular economy?
3. Growth and economic opportunities
Investigate the depth and optimization of economic opportunities in the UK resulting from a shift for more reuse, remanufacturing, and materials recovery.
4. Commercial models and logistical change.
How does a good commercially and logistically feasible supply chain model look like?
5. Infrastructure and workforce
Explore the type and scale of facilities that enables the best efficient reuse, remanufacturing, and materials recovery.
6. Policy and regulation
How do we create a regulatory environment with a clear and practical standard that best does support change?
UK publishes medical technology strategy
The event was based on the Medical Technology Strategy published shortly before by the Ministry under Will Quince. It includes a reflection on the Covid pandemic and a conclusion for future practices:
“The high prevalence of single-use devices being supplied into the UK health and care system added pressure when it came to responding to the rapid increase in patient demand caused by COVID-19. In many cases, manufacturing and logistics systems were insufficient to continue supplying products in the required quantities. Some of this pressure could have been alleviated if products and delivery models had been designed to allow for greater decontamination, reuse, or reprocessing of products.”
The Strategy paper states that shifting to products with the possibility for decontamination, reuse or remanufacturing could reduce the dependence for raw materials, original manufacturers, and logistic capabilities. Therefore, the future practice could look like this :
“To achieve long-term supply security, the medical device industry must increasingly design its products to reduce the need for new materials, make better use of recycled materials, and ultimately transform the supply of medical devices to enable significantly higher levels of reuse, remanufacturing, and material recovery.”
The strategy highlights the need for clinically safe and effective products that are better for the environment and the system through reuse and remanufacturing.
As a leader in Medical Remanufacturing, Vanguard was also on site. Paul Broadberry, our UK Country Manager (right), met David Wathey, the conference organizer for Design For Life Chair (left), among others, in person and was able to share information about Vanguard and our work with him.
We are pleased that the UK wants to extend and promote sustainability in its healthcare system. We are very happy for being part of this great movement and generating significant support for this project!