The market of medical devices and its segment – dentistry is one of the fastest growing. This growth is influenced by the introduction of digital technologies in dentistry, the stable demand for dental services, as well as the growing interest in cosmetic dentistry and smile design.
Development of medical devices: requirements and recommendations
In the production of medical devices, the reliability of technology and its resistance to breakdowns are important. Finishing materials for instrument housings and interior fillings must be safe. The design of medical equipment is based on the needs of the dentist. It is important that the control of plants and devices is intuitive, and the space inside the devices is used as efficiently as possible.
Design of medical devices: what is important for the target audience:
- reliability and resistance to breakage;
- upgradeability (modular designs that can be supplemented).
Medical device manufacturing: classification and features
Conventionally, the market of medical equipment for dentistry can be divided into 3 blocks.
- doctor block;
- patient unit;
- assistant unit.
For design dental equipment doctor block the most important is compact placement of all tools (a gun with water and air, micromotors, turbine handpieces, scalers, additional micromotors and handpieces). To do this, you need to use space as efficiently as possible. When designing medical devices of this kind, designers observe the work of dentists, watch their movements. This helps to identify shortcomings and weaknesses of the existing design and improve it.
Patient unit Is a chair and related items. For him, the main requirement is ease of lifting and lowering. When designing medical equipment, it is important to provide the doctor with access to the patient from all sides and leave room for 4 hands to work.
The second aspect is patient comfort. Going to the dentist is stressful for everyone. Feeling comfortable while in a chair is one of the few factors that can improve things.
The assistant unit is a hydraulic unit and a suction system. The most functional hydraulic units include additional functions such as a collector of solid particles, an amalgam filter, hygiene and disinfection systems, and water heating. The more additional functions there are, the more details need to be taken into account when designing medical equipment.
Separately, it should be said about the equipment for MID – minimally invasive dentistry. This the industry is developing rapidly and is promising. Digital X-rays, diagnostic caries detectors, intraoral cameras, biological caries detectors, laser and optical technologies – all these innovations are at the service of dentists today. Modern medical devices like X-rays and scanners can be separate pieces of equipment or embedded in a dental unit.
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Features of the Ukrainian market of medical dental equipment
There are a lot of private clinics in Ukraine with modern equipment from Germany, Italy and Japan. Doctors who are just starting out in business often choose to buy used equipment. It is worth noting the Ukrainian company GALIT, which produces dental units using foreign components.
For those clinics that do not have sufficient finances, the purchase of a dental equipment from Chinese and South American manufacturers. They are of lower quality and price. Chinese dental units are all alike. This design feature is associated with the fact that in some large factories, components are produced, and in others, the installations are assembled together.
The design of medical equipment from South America is nondescript and does not differ much from the Chinese one. Ukrainian (and Belarusian) equipment attracts with its price, however, its quality is inferior to German and Italian, as is the design of domestic dental devices.
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Dental equipment consumers – private clinics prefer the latest developments and try to keep up with the times. Usually they try to find a balance between quality and price, and they are very responsible in their choice of products.
Modern medical devices: trends in industrial design
The medical device market is seeing trends in digital technology, screen display and maximum integration of all functions in a central facility.
1. Development of medical equipment using digital screens and monitors allow you to display video in wide resolution on the screen in real time, which greatly simplifies the procedure for the doctor.
2, Maximum use of the space around the doctor Is not a new trend. In 2016, more and more manufacturers are adopting this method. Cefla Dental Group – an Italian holding of medical equipment manufacturers (Castellini and Anthos brands) has found a way to integrate an intrazonal camera and an X-ray machine into a dental unit.
3. Autoclaves (sterilization equipment) small sizes designed for small clinics. P&T Medical presented its new products in this segment. The new modernized model is characterized by an electromechanical lock (instead of a mechanical one), automatic filling of distilled water inside (saves staff time). The autoclave door is made by one-piece molding, which prolongs the life of the equipment and increases its reliability.
4. Compressors (compressed air sources) for CAD / CAM systems (design and production using computer technology). This technology is popular because it is easier to work this way, it is easier to store information, and the result is more visual. The main advantage of CAD / CAM systems is the ability to use ceramic and composite materials (for dentures). To use it, you need special compressors that will withstand pressures up to 10 bar. Such a compressor was presented at the beginning of 2016 by the German company Kaeser.
5. Increasing the speed of procedures. Thanks to a novelty from South Korean manufacturers – the Micro NX electric micromotor, you can achieve a high speed of procedures. The handpiece of the device, with such a micromotor, is capable of reproducing up to 40,000 rpm. This saves the doctor’s time and reduces pain.
6. Smallest X-ray. MyRay won a Design Award in the Industrial Design category in 2015. The Hyperion X5 wall mount panoramic imaging system is the world’s smallest. It includes all aspects of 2D and 3D imaging and makes life much easier for dentists and radiologists.
Medical Devices Promotion Tips
The promotion of medical equipment should be based on 2 components:
- medical equipment from the point of view of the buyer – a doctor and his clinic;
- medical equipment from the point of view of the patient of a particular clinic (fits into their ideas about the institution).
The first principle implies technical characteristics that are understandable only to a professional. The patient evaluates the technique only by its appearance. He can notice low-quality finishing materials, feel discomfort while in a chair, make a general impression of the technique based on its design. There are several ways to market new medical equipment.
- Conducting free medical seminars. At a seminar with useful content, you can show the device and introduce doctors to it. They will ask all questions, consider the technique from all sides.
- Participation in medical exhibitions. At large exhibitions, there is always a target audience for the product – doctors. Such sites help to immediately show all the advantages of your product over competitors. Such a company is unobtrusive, since potential buyers themselves came to study the novelties in the area.
- Souvenir products. For the first time, the company’s logo as an advertisement for technology was placed on disposable medical gloves. Today, the choice is much wider, but it is advised to place the logo on what the doctor will definitely need (pens, writing paper, disposable products like shoe covers). Fridge magnets are a less successful solution.
- Working with Internet users. 62% of consumers of medical equipment prefer to buy it online. And this figure is constantly growing. Therefore, you need a high-quality presentation of the product, the availability of complete information about the technique. This will require high-resolution images of equipment, videos, the most detailed description of functions and benefits.
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The dental medical device market: a look into the future
The medical technology market in the 21st century is most influenced by computer technology. Dentists say innovation is about:
- save doctors’ time;
- replace manual labor where possible;
- to minimize the mistakes of doctors;
- focus on prevention.
All this means that the drill will eventually fade into the background, and the main tool will be a variety of scanners that will be able to identify the patient’s problems in the early stages.
1. MID – minimally invasive dentistry. A system for the diagnosis and prevention of treatment of oral diseases using non-invasive or minimally invasive methods. This industry has been actively developing since the 50s and today has become a full-fledged branch in dentistry. The world leader in advanced medical devices for the MID is Carestream Dental. There is an idea that invasive dentistry will fade into the background in 50 or 100 years, and only this industry will remain. However, most dentists do not make such optimistic forecasts.
2. Additive technologies and laser melting in dentistry. These technologies are part of the application of computerization in dentistry. Laser melting assists in the fabrication of implants, abutments, crowns and bridges. Now you do not need to try on a future prosthesis for a long time and design it manually. The client’s oral cavity is scanned, then modeling is carried out using computer technology, after which the implants are cast on special installations. The advantages of this method are in an affordable price, the ability to produce several prostheses at once and prompt receipt of finished products. Laser melting helps save human resources and improves product accuracy. It is predicted that soon this method will completely replace the manual production of prostheses.
3. Digital Smile Design (DSD). Dentists are inclined to believe that the future of aesthetic medicine is in the widespread use of digital technologies. Today, thanks to them, you can see how a new smile will look even before the start of restoration procedures. This allows you to think over and together with the doctor to approve the design of the smile. So far, this requires a separate photo and video equipment, after which the files are loaded into the program. With its help, a digital model is built, and the patient chooses the most optimal option. Aesthetic dentistry is developing quite rapidly, so specialists expect other innovations in the market of medical devices for it.
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