The medical device industry is growing increasingly concerned about environmental impact of products. Whilst there are many tools aiming to support environmentally conscious design, they are typically complex to use, demand substantial data collection and are not tailored to the specific needs of the medical device sector. This paper reports on the development of a Maturity Grid to address this gap. This novel design tool was developed iteratively through application in five case studies. The tool captures principles of eco-design for medical devices in a simple form, designed to be used by a team. This intervention tool provides designers and product marketers with insights on how to improve the design of their medical devices and specifically allows consideration of the complex trade-offs between decisions that influence different life-cycle stages. Through the tool, actionable insight is created that supports decisions to be made within the realm of design engineers and beyond. The tool highlights areas which are influenced by design decisions taken, some of which are perceived to be outside of the direct control of designers.
Journal of Cleaner Production – Elsevier
Published: May 20, 2016
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