Biomedical Equipment Development: from Custom Circuits to Software and Building Blocks
Eleven biomedical equipment prototypes developed by Núcleo de Ingeniería Biomédica (NIB) from Universidad de la República (Uruguay) in 1987 to 2001 are reviewed. Based on interdisciplinary work of Medical School and Engineering Faculty members, the new instruments and software tools satisfy clinical and research needs in Biomedicine, and they are available for technological transfer to industry. Mean development time was 2543 man-hours (std dev=993) which accounted for 89,5% (std dev=10,5%) of total costs @ 20 USD/hour. An updated design of the projects is proposed, using present day elements, devices and development tools, yielding cost reductions in 2017 of up to 68% in materials costs, after a mean of 25 years. All prototypes developed were and some still are in clinical use, while only one of them evolved into a commercial product, confirming the one-to-ten ratio of successful investment in risk.