Meet our new Head of Medical: Kerry Briggs
We cornered Kerry, a few weeks into her new role, to ask her a few questions about how she is settling in and enjoying consultancy life…
Can you share with us some of the things you are looking forward to about your new role as Head of Medical at Kinneir Dufort?
Working at a consultancy provides the opportunity to work across the full breadth of the medical sector. The range of products which are currently under development within the medical sector is incredibly varied, with each project providing different challenges: from surgical tools used by specialist physicians, to advanced prosthetics and diabetes monitoring kits needed to allow users to self-manage their condition and improve their quality of life. I am really looking forward to collaborating with our clients to develop the next generation of medical products. Coming from an engineering background, I am also really interested in the links between the the different industries and sectors we work across at Kinneir Dufort, as there are real opportunities to cross-fertilise technologies to create new solutions.
Having worked for the last 10 years for a leading global medical device manufacturer, how do you assess the value that a design consultancy like Kinneir Dufort can bring to medical clients?
I think there is real value in the creative approach to solving a problem which KD takes. From my experience, this is very different to an in-house development where there can be a rigid development process and often the focus is on the technology itself, rather than how to implement the use of it well. The skills available at a consultancy are not always available in-house and so a partnership with the right consultancy can really strengthen the development team.
This collaboration can also reduce time to market as multiple work streams can progress in parallel. Application of good industrial design, innovation and usability at an early stage in a project can have a huge impact of the outcome of a project. Finally, a fresh set of eyes always helps!
With well-documented challenges of the healthcare sector dominating the news at the start of the year, how do you see the role of innovation, enabled by new technologies, in contributing to creating new solutions in this vital area?
As budgets grow tighter and the population continues to grow, innovation of products and services is absolutely key to enable the NHS to provide care to everyone who needs it. For example, there is a push towards converting more procedures to be completed as out-patient appointments reducing time spent in hospital. The trend for consumers to take more care of their own health continues to grow and is encouraging innovation. This was highlighted this year at CES with the focus on health monitoring for individuals and self care, including products such as the L’Oreal UV sense and the Omron Heartguide, targeting earlier detection of health problems.
This approach not only improves the prognosis for the patient but also reduces the costs associated with treating serious health issues. In order to support this trend, digital health innovation is key, with regulators including the FDA appreciating the need for updated guidance by selecting nine participants (from both the medical device and technology sectors) to take part in their digital health software pre-certification programme; enabling devices to be released more quickly to market.
We have been lucky enough to have you in the role for a few weeks now, has anything surprised you about Kinneir Dufort as you have made yourself at home?
As someone coming into consultancy for the first time after working for a leading global medical device manufacturer, I have to say I have been surprised by how much Kinneir Dufort is capable of, in terms of the different areas of expertise. There is a wealth of experience which could so easily be applied to medical device development to ensure the correct product is developed from initial concepts to launch. Prior to starting at KD, I always knew about Kinneir Dufort’s success in industrial design, but I hadn’t appreciated the team’s expertise in innovation, human factors, engineering and development of technology.
By harnessing all these skills, I really think we will be ‘designing a better world’.