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The Crucial Role of Medical Advisors in Medical Device Development

An Interview with Mr. Tass Adorján, MedRes Business Development Director

In medical device development, experts play crucial roles in ensuring technical and clinical relevance. The Medical Advisor holds a pivotal role in this aspect. Mr. Tass Adorján, Business Development Director of MedRes, explained the broad responsibilities and impact of the medical advisor in this field.


First of all, can you explain the importance of understanding the clinical environment at the beginning of a product development project?

Comprehending clinical needs is vital for aligning technology with market demands during product development. Recognizing these necessities ensures the creation of safe and effective surgical tools that are not only technically advanced, but also ergonomic and user-friendly. Moreover, new products should offer distinct value in the competitive market, and this can be facilitated by identifying unmet needs and shortcomings of existing surgical tools. Effective financial planning, encompassing factors like reimbursements and pricing, also contributes significantly to the product’s success. Ultimately, development guided by clinical insights amplifies product achievements, with medical advisors taking on a pivotal role.


How does the role of a Medical Advisor fit into this process?

Medical advisors bridge the gap between the clinical world and engineering during product development. They understand healthcare professionals’ technical, ergonomic, and safety requirements and relay them to engineers clearly. With their knowledge of human diseases and anatomy, they help product designs to fit real-world applications. Their market knowledge allows them to understand the competitive landscape, identifying top products and their prices. Furthermore, their awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of existing devices enables them to identify opportunities for improved and safer innovations. Beyond providing technical and clinical guidance, they offer mentorship for new products and contribute to successful product launches. Choosing advisors with both medical and business knowledge is crucial, as this synergy can be a determining factor in a product’s success.


When selecting a Medical Advisor, what are the key considerations?

Selecting the right advisor demands a systematic approach. Start within your network for reputable advisors. Review publications of experts on innovative technologies to identify forward-thinkers. Professionals aged 35-50, recognized in their field but not always in top positions, are frequently more open to innovations. In-person meetings are crucial to assess the advisor’s fit and flexibility. While local advisors are convenient, international team  provide broader insights, especially for global products. The best consultants merge their expertise with a willingness to innovate, understand target market specifics, offer ongoing feedback throughout the development process, and commits to long-term collaboration. When company goals and consultant ambitions align, strong partnerships emerge.


Can you define the key responsibilities of a Medical Advisor during the device development process?

Their vital role ensures the seamless alignment of developing medical devices with clinical needs, safety standards, and patient well-being. They identify potential engineering errors, provide guidance for compliance with medical standards, and continuously offer effective solutions. Moreover, they mitigate usage risks, actively participate in device validation from prototypes through clinical trials and provide support during product introductions. Through their mentoring role, they serve as advocates of new product for both the medical community and potential customers. Ultimately, through their commitment to patient safety, ethical integrity, and technological innovation, they play a pivotal role in development of devices that not only meet the highest standards but also significantly elevate the quality of patient care.


Finally, do you have any memorable instances or collaborations you’d like to share?

At MedRes we have established several excellent medical advisor relationships over the years, but one stands out in particular. This partnership has spanned across 4 distinct projects over several years. The initial collaboration began around 2010 and focused on the development of a medical device for gynecology. At that time, this advisor was already an experienced surgeon in gynecology, serving as both a department head physician and an inventor. As the years went by, he continued to advance in his professional career and reached leadership roles within renowned gynecological clinics and a prestigious university. His influential position within the field and proactive engagement brought forth valuable insights, network connections, and opportunities for clinical trials. Presently, we are collaborating on our fourth project together. Moreover, his recommendation of an advisor for another project showcased his commitment to expanding our expertise into new areas. Overall, this collaboration with him underscores the strategic importance of selecting the right advisors, resulting in wide-ranging benefits that extend beyond the scope of the initial projects.