Medical and Scientific
How do you meet the challenge of delivering your new product to market quickly with the right performance and a strong intellectual property position, whilst industrialising robustly and cost effectively?
It’s a complex problem, but one in which we have a great track record, with many commercially successful products delivered for clients in the pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer healthcare, hospital equipment and scientific instrument markets.
An effective development process underpinned by informed decision-making is fundamental to our work. If a project is planned and structured correctly from the outset, then key risks can be identified early and managed towards a positive outcome. Successful medical and scientific device development requires keen attention to detail with commercial realities meaning that development effort must always be appropriately directed. You can have confidence that our creativity, technical rigour and sensitive design skills will be intelligently focussed to deliver exciting and effective solutions to the challenges you bring.
Medical and Scientific services
We offer a comprehensive design service to the medical and scientific industries, with development processes aligned to standards in the EU and US.
With extensive experience of strategically important and technically demanding projects, our large multidisciplinary development team comprises mechanical engineers, electronics and software engineers, industrial designers, usability and interaction experts, researchers, prototyping technicians and specialist project managers.
We provide fully integrated product development services from initial project direction through to detailed support for industrialisation. Our skills include product development strategy, design research, project planning and management, intellectual property strategy, concept creation, prototyping, feasibility studies, design auditing, risk management, detailed design, engineering analysis, development testing, usability engineering, design verification, supplier selection and technical support for industrialisation. We can provide a complete turn-key development service, or staged input to a project.
Our design and development service is certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 13485.
Areas of work
From drug delivery devices produced in hundreds of millions to specialist laboratory instruments, our development experience spans the breadth of the medical and scientific industries.
Most of the development work that we undertake in these areas is complex, often with significant strategic importance for our clients.
Pharmaceutical drug delivery
Whether it’s inhalation, injection, topical or transmucosal drug delivery, we are passionate about improving the patient experience through great design.
With a strong track record of delivering innovative and successful products in this area, our work has covered a wide range of technologies, treatment types and associated devices, including re-usables, high volume disposables and advanced electronic devices, as well as dose counters, compliance aids and communications and data storage systems.
Your drug delivery device project will be led by one of our dedicated team of medical device sector experts, who provide the knowledge and strong project management skills that are essential to success. We follow a rigorous development approach, with an emphasis on identifying and managing risk throughout the process. Our designers and engineers are sensitive to the needs of device users and understand the importance of ensuring safety, comfort and compliance for patients.
Surgical instruments implants
From tibial jigs for knee joint replacement, to the design of an award-winning system for cardiovascular surgery, our work includes high-volume disposables, reusable instruments and implant systems for surgical use.
We have designed products that help to improve safety and reduce the time required for common surgical procedures, we have applied emerging technologies to niche surgical areas and have helped to develop innovative products for the ‘electronic operating theatre’.
Your project will be led by one of our dedicated team of medical device experts, who provide the knowledge and strong project management skills that are essential to success. We follow a rigorous development approach, with an emphasis on identifying and managing risk throughout the process. Our overall objectives being to enhance efficiency and safety, decrease recovery times and improve the overall patient experience.
In a market place where it is ever more important that clear and accurate diagnosis is achieved at an early opportunity, Point of Care (POC) and home use self-test devices have an increasingly important role to play.
Our experienced development team have the skills and insight necessary to help ensure that your next product provides features and functions that your customers will really value.
We can support your project from initial definition through to industrialisation. With an in-house team that includes research specialists, designers, mechanical engineers, electronics engineers and software developers, we offer a proven product development capability for either discrete project stages, or a full ‘turn-key’ service.
Our depth and breadth of development experience means that we are well placed to offer valuable, independent advice on the manufacturing partner for your device; in the Far East, in Europe or elsewhere in the world.
Our work in diagnostic devices includes complex multi-use instruments, as well as disposable devices and consumables for laboratory, hospital, doctor's surgery and home applications.
Developing laboratory-based scientific concepts into commercially successful products is a long-established strength at DCA.
Our researchers, designers and engineers are experienced at collaborating with physicists and chemists in order to achieve the desired sensitivity and precision in scientific instruments.
Our design teams have helped clients to realise complex systems and devices that use advanced technologies to detect and measure elements in body fluids, analyse cells, measure colour, detect gases and monitor particles and biochemical reactions in real-time.
With a large and integrated multi-disciplinary development team, consisting of mechanical engineers, electronics engineers, software developers and industrial designers, we offer a proven product development capability for either discrete stages of work, or a full ‘turn-key’ service.
Our in-house prototyping and testing facility supports rapid iteration of development rigs and we can also undertake low volume batch manufacture of prototype instruments. This integrated approach to development and evaluation of instrument performance is very efficient, and when taken together with our experience in identifying specialist supplier partners, helps to ensure a rapid and effective route to market.
In a market where it is critical not only to deliver outstanding performance, but also to communicate efficacy, trust and brand values, an intelligent and sensitive approach to product design is essential for success.
Innovative device and packaging solutions provide great potential to improve both the effectiveness and consumer appeal of healthcare products. Our extensive experience in developing high-volume medical devices, as well as sophisticated packaging for fast moving consumer goods, make us an ideal partner in this sector.
Our large development team comprises industrial designers, mechanical engineers, electronics and software engineers, researchers and prototyping experts, as well as dedicated sector specialists, who lead our medical device and FMCG projects.
Our rigorous, evidence-based development process is focussed on delivering features and performance that users value, while ensuring that manufacturing costs are tightly controlled. We offer a proven product development capability for either discrete stages of work, or a full turn-key service.
Anaesthesia and respiratory
Our work in this area includes anaesthetic gas detection meters, regulators and filters of many kinds, as well as a range of highly successful respiratory measurement equipment.
Two significant examples of our design and development work in respiratory measurement are a leading printer-spirometer and a state-of-the-art, hand-held device for airway resistance measurement for paediatric and elderly patients not able to co-operate with normal respiratory tests.
With a large multidisciplinary development team, we offer a structured development process that is designed to deliver robust, market beating products in a structured, risk managed way.
Orthopaedic and rehabilitation
Our practical analytical approach, combined with design sensitivity and experienced use of ergonomics has allowed us to provide efficient and effective solutions to demanding challenges in this area.
Our portfolio of work in this sector includes design and development of portable bath-lifts and mobility scooters for the elderly and infirm, as well as custom configurable electronic control systems for prosthetic hands and the development of advanced mechanical lower limbs and feet using composite materials.
With a large multi-disciplinary development team that includes specialist researchers, industrial designers, mechanical engineers, electronics engineers and software developers we offer a proven product development capability for either discrete stages of work, or a full ‘turnkey’ service.
Our wide-ranging experience in hospital equipment design reflects the complexity and diversity of the modern hospital environment.
Some notable examples of our work in this sector include; disposable sharps-bins, an award winning range of castors for hospital beds and trolleys, a dispensing system for surgical gloves, a macerator for disposal of bed pans, a future vision for the industrial design and usability of next generation MRI imaging and radiotherapy equipment, as well as input into other complex system and machine design projects, including, for example, plasmapheresis apparatus.
Our understanding of the challenges of the hospital environment and our detailed approach to identifying and engaging with the needs of medical professionals and patients early in the product development process are key to the success we have delivered for clients in this area. Ease and intuitiveness of use, together with hygiene, safety, efficiency, robustness, and cost-sensitive manufacture are often key areas of focus.
Our rigorous product development process delivers creative and effective solutions for our clients, with all design decisions underpinned by an appropriate level of evidence. We offer a proven development team able to engage with projects of all sizes and complexity levels in this demanding sector.
A multi-disciplinary team built to develop electronic and electro-mechanical devices.
Our systems engineering team have developed medical devices and scientific instruments with functions ranging from simple automated monitoring to sophisticated electro-mechanical control, diagnostics and connectivity.
Success in these areas depends on robust requirements definition and careful partitioning of functionality between electronic, mechanical and software sub-systems. The effective management of interfaces and interactions between sub-systems is key, and is greatly enhanced by an integrated team structure. For this reason our electronics engineers, designers, mechanical engineers and researchers work very closely together from the start of projects to capture, define and translate requirements into effective design solutions.
Whether electronic functions are an inherent part of your new product architecture, or an existing mechanical system needs to be enhanced with new electronic features, we have the skills and knowledge to meet most development needs.
Dental and opthalmic
Our multi-disciplinary development capabilities, rigorous evidence-based approach and experience across a wide range of industries make us an ideal partner for the design of specialist products for dental and ophthalmic applications.
Our experience includes development of drug injection devices, niche surgical instruments, anaesthetic equipment, lighting, motorised and static hospital furniture, dental sterilisation equipment and precision ophthalmoscopes. As an example, the autoclave shown in the accompanying image was designed and developed in conjunction with a leading medical equipment manufacturer to meet the specialist needs of the dental surgeon.
Disposables and consumables
We believe that the most competitive disposable products only result from an almost obsessive attention to detail with a clear focus on design for manufacture and value engineering.
Our extensive experience in the design of high volume disposable and consumable devices has given us an intimate understanding of precision moulding technologies and high-speed automated assembly. As we understand these technologies in-depth, our designs are created and engineered with detailed consideration for the requirements of high volume manufacture right from the initial concept stage.
We also understand the critical balance that must be struck between cost and performance. In a marketplace that is becoming ever more competitive, the most successful disposable products are those that provide improved functionality as well as lower cost.
We offer a structured development process that is designed to deliver robust, market beating products in a structured, risk managed way. Our experience in the design and development of disposable medical products includes cartridges, dispensers, applicators, filters, bags, test cuvettes, sharps bins and drug delivery devices.
From drug and vaccine delivery devices, to specialist surgical equipment and electronic systems for tagging and monitoring livestock on farms, we have a track record of developing successful products for our clients.
Our knowledge and experience has been accumulated over many years work in medical, consumer, industrial and commercial product design. Our approach is focussed on delivering robust and reliable products for our clients that offer real commercial and user benefits.
With a large multi-disciplinary development team that includes specialist researchers, industrial designers, mechanical engineers, electronics engineers and software developers we offer a proven product development capability for either discrete stages of design and analysis work, or a full ‘turnkey’ service.