Join Sunrise Labs on the Making Bright Ideas Work podcast to discuss the ins and outs of bringing medical devices to life, and their impact on the industry and beyond.
Quality Assurance Teams and Building a Foundation of Trust
Quality assurance is a critical component in the product development and manufacturing process. For medical devices, it’s paramount.
Sunrise Labs’ Spencer Zawasky, Principal Quality Engineer and Test Manager, and Trisha Bouthot, Director of Quality & Test, spoke about the importance of building a foundation of trust within quality assurance teams and with clients.
Bouthot said there are many factors involved to build a foundation of trust within a quality assurance team. Idea and knowledge sharing are critical components in this team trust formula.
“As an organization, we share a lot of knowledge. We have many lunch and learns and technical sharing sessions. And as a quality department, we meet multiple times a week and share in our experiences. There is so much power in knowledge transfer,” Bouthot said. “It really helps our team to be efficient.”
Empowerment is another element Bouthot said helps build trust within a team.
“Allowing people within a team to own their tasks and own their responsibilities puts forth a better product,” Bouthot said, “than they would if it was, say, me directing them to do something my way. I feel like it’s my job to guide them and remove obstacles for them so that they can be much more productive.”
Trust built the medical device industry.
“A quality assurance team enforces that trust,” Zawasky said. “We’re the ones who have to honor that trust in a way I don’t think is quite as prominent to the developers in an organization.”
Empathy is Key to Home Use Medical Device Success with Alex Therrien and Kelly Catale
The healthcare industry has been trending toward health monitoring in the home environment, and since COVID-19, this trend has significantly increased. Medical device manufacturers are experiencing many new opportunities and additional challenges in designing medical devices for a more diverse user population and less controlled use environment.
In this Sunrise Labs podcast, Alex Therrien, Director of User Centered Design and Kelly Catale, Principal Human Factors Engineer, explain how taking a User Centered Approach to designing home use medical devices will lead to a more successful medical product.
Starting the medical device design process from the standpoint of empathy will ensure that the new device will fit into the end user’s life and is more likely to be adopted. User adoption and therapy adherence will determine the success of the product for all stakeholders.
Key Considerations in Choosing a Design Partner and Contract Manufacturer
On this episode of “Making Bright Ideas Work,” Eric Soederberg, CEO at Sunrise Labs, explains that if you choose a manufacturer to design your product, you may lose the ability to take a fresh look at your design.
After the design is defined is the time to select the most appropriate contract manufacturer and then you’ll have flexibility to compare the offerings from more than one contract manufacturer with a clear view of what you need.
Continuous Improvement and Investing in Your Company’s Future with Eric Soederberg
Building a company culture of continuous improvement and investing for the future sounds like an obvious recipe for success, but it is easier said than done. Eric Soederberg, CEO of Sunrise Labs, joined Tyler Kern on this episode of the Sunrise Podcast to talk about the importance of creating the right work environment for continuous improvement and the investments required to bring that culture to life.
“Continuous improvement is an investment,” Soederberg said. “When someone comes into your office and says they have a great idea, but they need to buy something or take a particular class to make it happen, it requires you to say yes.”
Soederberg’s philosophy is to foster an environment where employees are comfortable coming to managers for things they want or need. When Soederberg first came to Sunrise Labs, people were not asking for stuff, and they made do with existing equipment that was sometimes up to 20 years old.
It was important for Soederberg to change the culture into one where people felt they were trusted to make the right decisions to improve their performance and that of the company.
“People are happier when they are working toward a better life for themselves, better processes and more efficient ways of doing things,” Soederberg said.
To make improvements in a company, sometimes taking a risk and going beyond the comfort zone is required. As Soederberg put it, “You can take a risk, and you might fail, or you could not take a risk, and you will fail."
The Keys to Successfully Outsourcing Product Development with Laurin Noel
No one is an expert at everything, which is why hiring a product development team to get your medical product off the ground can determine whether it will ultimately sink or swim. Product development team expert at Sunrise Labs, Laurin Noel, joins Making Bright Ides Work to discuss what components lead to a successful group of product developers.
With over 27 years of experience in the medical product development business, Sunrise Labs has seen a thing or two. Noel cautions startups and established businesses alike on what to avoid when outsourcing product development. Her leading cautionary tale is to not drop the project on the team and walk away. Remember to dedicate time to your third-party employees, she said. Allocate extra resources and over-estimate the time it may take to fully realize the product through multiple revisions.
"Think of the project holistically," Noel said, "in order to use time and money efficiently."
With years of experience and anecdotes, Noel educates listeners on common roadblocks in outsourcing product development, and how to avoid them. Above all, she explained the need to keep communicating with the team. Revisit the responsibilities of everyone involved, from system engineer to copywriter, as the product moves through development. Above all, assume positive intent of all team members and approach problems with a willingness and openness to hearing different opinions.
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Project Management is Most Successful When it's Personal with Joe McCluskey of Sunrise Labs
For all the discussion about process improvement, company culture, and team member morale, you might forget that Sunrise Labs is a medical laboratories company offering a broad spectrum of clinical laboratory testing. That's because Sunrise Labs was founded to be different, and that's evident in everything they do down to the way they run their daily operations. Today on Making Bright Ideas Work, the Sunrise Podcast powered by Sunrise Labs, we sat down with Program Manager Joe McCluskey to discuss how agile project management is more than methodology -- it's about people.
"Personal ownership means that you really take pride and you want to deliver the best you can," McCluskey said. "Individual contributions help the team, like the building blocks, to create a better widget when you combine all those personal ownership items."
While the team at Sunrise uses agile methodology, most commonly used in software development, and a daily scrum in its everyday operations, they take a very personal approach to project management. Scrum is a methodology that allows a team to self-organize with daily information exchanges and make changes quickly, in accordance with agile principles.
"Anybody can make a document and check a list, but the dynamics of a project excel when there's personal ownership and human stimulation," McCluskey said. "There's also humanization of the project itself. If it's a pilot build, personalize the name of the pilot or deliverable. Call it a name. Everybody can connect to a name."