We have no shortage of ideas for new medical devices. Many interventional vascular specialists have ideas for new devices or procedures, or ways to improve existing ones. There is no shortage of capital for good ideas, either. The weak link in the innovation cycle is the randomness underlying the process by which the ideas, management, prototyping, intellectual property, and other foundational components connect with each other at the early stage. If you are like many inventors, you do not have an experienced coach to manage the process. You have a daytime job, maybe a family, and the path forward is uncertain.
You are vaguely aware that unless you get a lot of unfamiliar issues right, the odds are low that you can create a package that will attract the people and capital necessary to proceed. So, it comes as no surprise that although many physicians out in the field have clinically valuable inspirations within the scope of their expertise, only a few have a realistic way to connect the dots. The result is an unfortunate restraint on the pace of medical evolution. We lose ideas for the wrong reason, and promising therapies never reach the patient. We need to fix that.
Originally published in Endovascular Today on March 21, 2014.
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