Tube Anchor: development of a small medical device from concept to market

Andrew Levy, Martin Coulthard, Simon Talbot, Graham Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Experts probably have to immerse themselves in their discipline for at least a decade before they have the knowledge and insights needed to produce world-class work. Medical practitioners with long experience in their specialist fields are particularly well placed to know what types of device might be needed to make their patients’ journeys back to health more comfortable, secure and cost effective. Medical school curriculae, however, are devoid of formal innovation and business training at least in the UK. The strategies required to convert an idea into reality remain beyond most medical graduates’ terms of references, and progressing a ‘Eureka moment’ is perceived, perhaps understandably, as an overwhelming challenge. Indeed, as exciting, interesting and satisfying though the field can be, medical device development is a complex, time consuming and expensive undertaking requiring more than a fair share of good fortune. Contrary to the impression given by reality television programmes in which budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to successful businessmen, funding does not necessarily mean that an idea is worthy of success or destined for it, and vice versa. Equally, the acquisition of intellectual property is in many cases a pyrrhic victory. Using as an example the development of Tube Anchor, a novel device to secure intravenous crystalloid administration tubing, this paper outlines the pathway from concept to a marketed clinical device.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalBMJ Innovations
Early online date23 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Intravenous infusions
  • intravenous therapy
  • Disposable
  • Equipment Design


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