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My “Journey” of Developing the Injection Bump

Author: Zhang JiaLu

1. Decided to go into the injection bump field

With the rapid development of the company, Comen leaders decided to expand the market and enter into new fields on the basis of current product chains. But which new field should we enter? Basing on the consistent R&D concept of “user demand-oriented”, we did many market surveys and repeatedly analyze data and discussed market prospect in the later year. Finally, we decided to enter the injection instruments field after scientific and well-rounded evaluation of the future market trend.

2. Take on the research and development mission

That’s was about the end of the year 2010. At that time, it hadn’t been long since I joined Comen and I had just one year’ s experience in the medical equipment industry. I just heard the name “injection bump” for the first time in Comen, but soon after I took on the mission of developing it. I actually knew nothing about it then, but I believed as long as I tried my best, I’d make it! Think about Jack Ma, the boss and founder of Alibaba: He knew nothing about IT at first, but he founded one of the greatest website in the world! With confidence, I started my journey of developing the injection bump.

3. The stage of predevelopment

Since I had no knowledge about this product at the beginning, I spent most of the time learning. For example, I read the rich information about injection bump on the internet about its history of development, usage and value, etc. I also went to many exhibitions to see the products of different brands, trying to analyze their advantages and disadvantages. But the most important thing was visiting hospitals and communicating face to face with medical staffs that directly use the product. In this way, I got to know customers’ demand in real time. After half a year’s preparation, I knew every detail about injection bump, and the project team was formed. So when everything was ready in July 2011, the development work for the M200 Injection Bump started.

4. The difficulties we met in the development process

Though for Comen and our team, developing injection bump was for the first time, in the field of intravenous infusion equipment, the injection bump had been rather mature and its market size had been rather big with many hospitals using it. I can say that at that time, nearly the whole injection bump market had been shared. So the situation for us was not so optimistic. The first question we faced was how to make our product stand out in the fierce competition and occupy a share of the market. And remember, we were aiming at not only making high-quality injection bumps, but also making the bumps with Comen characteristics.

After predevelopment, we found that though there were many brands of injection bump in the market, they usually had very few functions, complex operation interface and incomplete drug data management. These would cause much inconvenience to medical staff when they managed the patients. So we decided to develop an intravenous infusion workstation with an integrated system and based on a central control board. It can comprehensively manage the injection work and control multi-channel injection bumps. Also, even a single bump can work discretely. Specifically speaking, the four stacked injection bumps can be placed in the position of one another, but they were recognized and displayed from bottom up and from small to big by the central control board. Each injection bump can be connected by signals and can communicate with the central control board. When a single injection bump is connected to the control board, it can recognize its position automatically and the signals of position 1-4 will be displayed. The central control board can simultaneously control the injection bumps stacked and can be connected to PC for data management. So the nurses can monitor the infusion and know the running state of the equipment as long as they are at the workstation. The abnormal signals of the equipment will be synchronously sent to the computer for display, too. Currently, there are only two suppliers of this kind of detachable injection bump abroad. Comparatively speaking, our independently-developed injection bump has obvious competiveness.

The schematic diagram of the product design is as follows:

This requires that every channel can be combined in the stack mode which, no matter in terms of structure or of control technology, is obviously more complex than the single-channel or dual-channel injection bump commonly seen in the market. Meanwhile, this means that the whole system must be highly coordinated and the product technology must meet a very high standard.

After starting the development project, the main problem we faced is how to guarantee the accuracy of the software control algorithm and the data of mechanical transmission. We discovered by repeated analysis and trials that design of mechanical transmission and the processing technique are vital on the basis of a stable hardware platform. This is because during the injection process, they’ll decide whether medicinal liquids can be precisely injected.

As we know, the injection bump will work continuously in real use. So the gearing will wear badly, which will affect the service life of the equipment. This is a problem we must solve by finding best materials. What’s more, the majority of injection bumps in the market has a warranty period of 3 to 5 years; we must outdo that number. So we started to look for the materials that can stand severe wear and did deep research on the thermal treatment technique. After much trying and testing, we finally found the suitable material processing solution which can guarantee prolonged product’s service life.

All medical equipment must absolutely guarantee the safety of patients. This is a basic principle. For injection bump, the precision of algorithm is directly related to patient’s life safety, so we must make sure that the mechanical precision meets the demand and the functions of hardware are realized. Lastly, we must provide a precise software control platform. To achieve this aim, we researched deep on the control algorithm of the software and applied the result to control of precision of the equipment. For example, we used a high-precision electronic scale that has a precision as high as 1/100,000 for strict measurement, so that the accuracy of the data we achieved from the control algorithm is guaranteed.

5. Look forward to the future

Through unremitting efforts, we successfully finished development of the injection bump by the end of 2012. All its parameters met the testing and clinical examination demands and so the equipment got the approval of CFDA. After preparing materials and production, it went on sale in august this year.

The news that the first batch of injection bumps had gone on sale made me very happy because I felt my two years’ efforts were not in vain. Looking back on the development process, everything seems to happen just yesterday. Tired as we were, we finally made an injection bump with Comen characteristics. It is user demand-oriented, takes the use environment into consideration, reduces the workload of users and gives most considerate cares for the patients. No matter in the operating room or ICU, it will be a powerful helping hand to doctors and nurses by providing accurate intravenous infusion service.

Though our team has successfully finished the injection bump development task, we’ll make the product more precise in the future because “seeking for greater perfection” is our production theme. So in the future years, our team will keep improving and upgrading this product so as to bring more benefits to customers and users.

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