27 Design Shops who are currently serving Orthopedics |

27 Design Shops who are currently serving Orthopedics

Below is a list of 27 R&D Outsourcers that are active in Orthopedic product innovation today.

Ranked from larger firms to smaller firms.  The larger firms have many employees and many clients.

  1. Orchid Design    http://www.orchid-orthopedics.com/
  2. CoorsTek Medical  http://Coorstekmedical.com
  3. Kapstone Medical    http://kapstonemedical.com/
  4. Intrepid Orthopedics http://IntrepidOrtho.com
  5. Farm Product Development    http://www.farmpd.com/
  6. Enztec http://www.enztec.com/
  7. SmithWise https://www.smithwise.com/
  8. Marker Medical http://www.markermedical.com/
  9. Mobius Medical    http://mobiusmedical.com/
  10. Pipeline Orthopedics    http://www.pipelineortho.com/
  11. Key Tech Inc. https://www.keytechinc.com/
  12. Slingshot Product Development Group www.slingshotpdg.com
  13. Gilero Biomedical  http://www.gilero.com
  14. MB Innovations http://www.mbimemphis.com/
  15. Kognitus, LLC  dinesh.koka@kognitus.com
  16. Arch Day Design http://www.archdaydesign.com/
  17. Strategy2Market    http://strategy2market.com/
  18. Applied Orthopedic Design http://www.aodesign.net/
  19. Perceptus Consulting www.perceptusconsulting.com
  20. Elevate Medical www.elevate-medical.com
  21. Pro-Dex   http://www.pro-dex.com
  22. Zigg Design    http://www.ziggdesign.com/
  23. JALEX Medical http://www.jalexmedical.com/
  24. Product QuickStart www.productquickstart.com
  25. VGR Health, LLC http://www.vgrhealth.com/
  26. Momentum Medical https://momentummedical.net/
  27. Ragin’ Cajun Consulting   https://www.troydrewry.com/

There is quiet trend happening in Orthopedics that is fundamentally changing the way companies create new products.

by Tiger Buford


Back in the good old days, let’s say the 1990’s, if a surgeon had an idea, they simply brought it to their favorite Orthopedic manufacturer, signed a contract and the engineers went to work.  After a few design/testing iterations… whiz, bang, boom and the product was on the market in 12 months.

Fast forward to today and there is a problem with the innovation process – the working relationship between surgeon and manufacturer.

Unfortunately the surgeon/manufacturer relationship has been beaten down by years of financial disclosures at medical meetings, obscene consulting pay splashed in local newspapers, contract negotiations with endless legal and compliance oversight, very public DOJ investigations, and 8-figure fines handed down to manufacturers who have paid surgeons indiscreetly.

I never thought it would come to this, but it has gotten so awkward that some of the big Orthos just cannot seem to find a way work with design surgeons anymore.  Then, on the flip side of the relationship, I run into surgeons who are scared to work with the big name Orthopedic manufacturers.

So if surgeons with good ideas cannot work with the manufacturers any more, how can companies develop innovative new products?


Enter the R&D Outsourcer.

There has a new crop of talented entrepreneurial teams who have started their own R&D firms in the last few years to work directly with surgeons, and sometimes Ortho manufacturers, on new projects. These teams learned their trade at some of the best Orthopedic and Spine companies.  These nimble R&D firms have access to all of the same resources that the big guys have (the best engineers, CAD, sophisticated prototyping, test equipment, regulatory processes, etc.), but do not have all of the red tape that the big Orthos have (slow decision making, layers, compliance oversight, IP committees, regulatory committees).

Another advantage of the R&D Outsourcers is that they can take an idea as far, or as short, as the customer wants. The customer can just chose off the menu how deep they want the team to take the project.  Here are some of the services offered from concept to market.

  • product planning and definition
  • concept generation
  • market analysis
  • working prototypes
  • feasibility testing, including cadaver labs
  • final product design
  • patent applications
  • design transfer (ready for manufacturing)
  • regulatory filings
  • production
  • sterile inventory on the shelf

These new Outsourcers serve an unmet need for BOTH surgeons and manufacturers.

Surgeons benefit by access to fast, under-the-radar-screen product development.  The development is usually faster and more engaging than working the the big boys. And often the surgeon is able to retain some equity, rights or future royalties.

The Big Orthos benefit by getting access to innovation that they cannot get with home-grown projects. They can purchase a “ready-for-market” product without dealing with the messy and uncomfortable surgeon consulting issues. It turns out that the big Orthos are willing to pay handsomely for commercially viable products when much of the risk has been removed.


to 27 Design Shops who are currently serving Orthopedics

  1. Ron Todd (RT) June 14th, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Tiger, I look3ed at your list of LIST OF R&D OUTSOURCERS and they are all “companies”. Do you know, or have started, a list of independent free-lance designers such as myself, who have lower overhead costs and can actually work at a faster less expensive pace?


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