Interdisciplinarity in New Product Development in an Indian MedTech Perspective: Gap and the Solution

Vijayarajan Alagumalai, Pooja Kadambi, Abhishek Appaji*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The medical device industry is a niche field globally and among the fastest growing industries in India. It requires specialised and interdisciplinary skills, as well as knowledge for innovation of new product development. New product development has four key phases: need finding, concept generation, engineering and validation. The first two phases require broad vertical and lateral thinking to come up with innovative plus appropriate solutions. Thus, multidisciplinary teams made up of experienced individuals with interdisciplinary knowledge enhance the phase outputs. The next two phases are iterative, usually requiring management of multiple subsystems, across technical disciplines and system integration. Without interdisciplinary product members and technical leaders, product development is not optimised. This leads to numerous iterations - loss of time, money. The industry struggles to find these interdisciplinary resources and building this capacity today takes a decade in India, with the entire burden falling on the industry. In well-developed medical device markets, higher education has introduced application-centric courses with cross-disciplinary curriculums. Such a structure allows students to gain valuable skills and understanding of the industry as a whole. Developed ecosystems have no shortage of experts available who serve as technical leaders. Developing countries like India have a very young indigenous medical device industry. In such nations, private companies struggle to find experienced individuals capable of interdisciplinary thinking and problem-solving. In this paper, we present India's current Medtech perspective, and the industry member's experiences through case studies and interviews. An outline for an academic model to meet the requirement of the industry has been presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-827
Number of pages11
JournalHealth and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Medical Devices
  • Medtech
  • Systems engineering
  • Interdisciplinary

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