Ideation and innovation: A driving force for growth

Jun 30, 2022

When we look at the healthcare landscape, there are many solutions in search of problems. But according to David Knapp, vice president of research and development for Peripheral Interventions, the R&D process at Boston Scientific comes from the opposite perspective: it starts with an understanding of the most significant problems for its customers and works to solve them.

According to Knapp, the company’s success at this approach stems from its values, which include collaboration, diversity, inclusion, meaningful innovation and above all, what CEO Mike Mahoney calls “winning spirit”—a shorthand for grit, a relentless desire for improvement and avoiding complacency.

The company also has been successful at building highly engaged teams of problem-solvers and making sure they’re set to work on the right problems. Empathy is essential to truly understand physicians’ underlying challenges and move beyond addressing surface needs into truly transformative solutions.

David writes that Boston Scientific researchers are also motivated by the belief that there is always more that can be done to benefit patients. This focus on the company’s life-changing mission makes the work of innovation both purposeful and personal—and allows it to sustain the multi-year R&D timelines that transformative medical devices can require.

One example of this was the development of the Eluvia™ Drug-Eluting Vascular Stent System, for use in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD, which affects more than 200 million people around the world, occurs when arteries in the legs narrow and restrict blood flow due to plaque build-up. In addition to pain and swelling, severe cases can lead to ulcers and even to amputation of the affected limb. The Eluvia stent, which features sustained release of the lowest dose of the drug paclitaxel of any peripheral drug-eluting device, reopens blocked arteries and restores blood flow while utilizing a drug-polymer combination to prevent tissue regrowth.

With the unmet patient need and challenging anatomy of this disease in mind, the team applied deep knowledge in disease state understanding, nitinol technology, stent design and drug coating in 10 years of technology and product development that resulted in a product that is making a meaningful difference for patients.


Read David Knapp's full article, "In pursuit of relentless innovation," in MedTechNews.