Process and efficacy of applying the TRIZ methodology to medical device innovations

Dathe, René (2015) Process and efficacy of applying the TRIZ methodology to medical device innovations. DBA thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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The pharmaceutical business is driven by innovation and new technologies. In order to improve the overall efficiency, the modern R&D organisations nowadays have integrated problem-solving techniques in their innovation process. This thesis aims to explore and analyse the application of TRIZ technique in the problem-solving process in the medical device sector of the pharmaceutical industry. The findings of the literature review indicate that TRIZ can effectively guide the problem-finding process with a tool kit that can recognise patterns and regularities based on the past solutions in a knowledgebase. The results suggest that such systematic approach is more effective than the conventional methods of trial-and-error. This study conducted a survey amongst the innovative medical device departments of various pharmaceutical companies in the Rhine-Main region in Germany and provided contemporary data on the application of problem-solving tools, especially TRIZ, in those institutions. As a result, the survey data also delivered some possible criteria for technical solutions of medical devices which were subsequently discussed and finalised with a group of experienced experts (expert panel). The next step of the study was organised as a 2x2 experiment. During the experiments, two groups of experienced practitioners were asked to improve the design of two sample medical devices, alternatively using TRIZ and brainstorming. The efficacy of TRIZ application was analysed both in terms of the quality of the technical solutions and that of the group work. The SYMLOG Adjective Rating Form method initiated by Bales was used for the assessment of the group work. The results of the experiment indicate that the impact of the problem-solving tools is influenced by the type of innovation problem. For the analysis of such influences, this research makes a contribution to knowledge by proposing a 2-dimensional framework to capture the problem types. In addition, a TRIZ procedure for the technical innovations of medical devices was developed based on the model of Su et al. Due to the sensitive protection of intellectual property in the pharmaceutical industry, field studies of R&D processes in large pharmaceutical firms are limited in the public literature. This work provides valuable insights into this business sector, especially in respect of application of problem-solving tools and how those tools may potentially improve the outcomes of the R&D activities in the pharmaceutical industry.

Item Type: Thesis (DBA)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: TRIZ, pharmaceutical industry, innovation, medical device, group work, SYMLOG
Subjects: R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 14:19
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 08:29

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