Medical device packaging is certainly not easy. Poor medical device packaging can result in a host of problems for both customers as well as medical device companies. It must be ensured that every package that holds a sterile medical device not only arrives at the hospital or clinic free of wear and tear or broken seals, the packaging must also ensure a longer shelf-life, possibly for years, without breaking down. Furthermore, following the packaging guidelines and strict regulatory standards of the FDA is another hurdle faced by companies in the medical device market.
As a result of such increasing complexities, players in the medical device packaging market are looking at the latest innovations and trends that meet their requirements while adhering to the FDA regulations. Our experts in the medical device packaging industry have listed some of the top trends that are shaping the future of medical device packaging.
Medical device packaging trends 2019
Involving a medical device packaging partner at the earlier stages of product development allows to create a packaging that is innovative, serves the purpose, and is highly sustainable. Designers of medical device packaging are formulating new ways to reduce the material and energy required. In addition, they are aiming to reduce the number of components required in the overall package. The advent of tools such as design and package integrity simulation allows medical device packaging providers to make a well-informed prediction at the concept stage about how design choices such as downgauging materials or reducing the overall footprint will have an impact on the performance of the package. This gives higher confidence and ensures greater efficiency before moving into the prototyping and manufacturing stages.
There is a growing awareness around the recovery and reuse of materials. Several medical device packaging companies and OEMs are working with healthcare providers and recyclers to recover and use existing plastics. Once the most sustainable materials are chosen, the end-users are informed on how to reuse and later recycle the packaging. Furthermore, research and evaluations are being continuously conducted around new medical device packaging innovation that can offer better sustainability benefits.
Efficient and cost-saving transportation
Companies can perfect their transportation strategies via simulation tools in order to lower energy and cost. Several players take advantages of software that helps to optimize planning, maximize load, and minimize costs. This allows manufacturers to prevent obstacles by learning the outcomes and solutions ahead of time. Companies commonly focus on sustainability through bulk freight shipments that reduce packaging, impact on the environment, and transport/inventory expenses. Moreover, medical device manufacturers are working with CMOs (contract manufacturing organizations) that provide end-to-end services. Choosing a medical devices packaging partner that can perform everything from design and development, to prototyping, to tool building to manufacturing under one roof means components don’t need to be transported between various phases of the process.