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White Paper

Frugal Engineering – Revitalizing the Medical Devices Life Cycle


Recently published data from the National Health Interview Survey, 2012, revealed that while over 26% of families in the United States experienced any financial burden of medical care, 16.5% struggled to pay their medical bills of which 8.9% were unable to pay at all. This is just one disturbing statistic in a case of many. The rising cost of healthcare across the world has impacted not only individuals, but corporations offering healthcare benefits to their employees as well.

Rising costs have rendered healthcare less affordable even as new taxes on devices in the US increase the Original Equipment Manufacturers' (OEMs) cost of device developmentCost effective medical devices are no longer a need for just the bottom of the pyramid. To compensate for rising costs, system inefficiencies need to be eliminated.

Frugal Engineering (FE) offers one such avenue for improving healthcare. The Frugal Engineering philosophy involves breaking up and rebuilding a cycle that culminates in a simpler, more robust, easier-to-handle process and cost-effective final product. FE enables lower cost of product development, lower Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) through Low Cost Country (LCC) sourcing, and greater focus on the unmet needs of clients.

Measured results indicate that leveraging Frugal Engineering principles in the medical domain can deliver up to 90 percent savings. Although this may not be achievable for all medical products, significant savings can be realized for a number of medical devices.

Optimizing every step of the value chain helps reduce the burden of healthcare expenses on patients, OEMS, governments and tax payers. By adopting Frugal Engineering for product development, OEMs can benefit from lower product development costs. The resulting savings can be used to compensate for other cost contributors such as inflation, labor cost, government taxes and others, while boosting profitability and helping fund future programs. Part of the savings can also be shared with patients and taxpayers to ease the burden of healthcare expenses.

Read this white paper to know how Frugal Engineering in the medical domain can help control healthcare expenses and address the numerous challenges faced when taking products from developed countries to emerging markets.