The medical device industry in China has developed rapidly from small to large, and now it has become a sunrise industry with relatively complete product categories, increasing innovation capability and strong market demand. Especially in recent years, the development speed of medical device industry in China has been further accelerated, not only the output value has maintained double-digit growth for many years, but also the quantity and scientific and technological content of product exports have been continuously improved. In the next few years, China will surpass Japan to become the second largest market for medical devices and equipment in the world. This shows that, as a special industry related to people’s livelihood and health and affecting the sustained and sound development of the national economy, China’s medical device manufacturing industry has unlimited potential.

Ms. Xiaohong Sun founded Tianjin Tianzuo Medical Equipment Sales Co., Ltd. in July 2015, and then she established two subsidiaries: Tianjin Jiuyuan Medical Instruments Sales Co., Ltd. and Jiangsu New Zhihao Medical Technology Co., Ltd. The company focuses on product research and development, production, after-sales and other integrated services of first-class and second-class active and passive medical devices and sterile disposable medical consumables in the fields of respiratory, anesthesia, ICU. Ms. Xiaohong Sun has been working in the medical device industry for many years, and has created an intelligent production management system for the full life circle of medical devices, which has effectively promoted the sustainable development of the medical device industry in China.

Working at the forefront of production management technology to promote the high-end transformation of medical device products

In the past, there were a series of problems in the production process of medical devices, such as complicated production process, low efficiency of manual verification, lax control of production process and poor production quality. In view of the insurmountable problems in the industry, Ms. Xiaohong Sun developed a digital intelligent production management system for medical devices based on monitoring and sensing, integrated manufacturing, artificial intelligence and automatic sampling technology from multiple dimensions, including production precision, production automation and intelligent monitoring, which has well solved the problems of difficult tracking of the production process, unstable product quality and low production efficiency in the medical device industry, and achieved the lean production as well as the transformation of products from middle and low end to high end.

With the application of this cutting-edge technology, the foundation of the medical equipment industry has been significantly advanced and the modernization level of the industrial chain has been significantly improved. The production precision of medical device supplies has reached 99.8%, far higher than peer standards. The error of production parameters has been reduced by four times, which has greatly ensured the production quality and efficiency of medical supplies. In addition, this leading-edge technology has also assisted manufacturers in achieving fully automated management of production workshops, reducing the time and cost of manual operations and verification. At the same time, it has also shortened the production cycle and increased the operation efficiency of production line by more than 30%. Even in emergency periods, the effective supply of main medical equipment can be achieved.

Developing intelligent precision production system to fill the gap of precision catheter technology

The precision medical tracheal intubation is an essential basic medical device in modern anesthesia and emergency medicine, as well as an important medical device in interventional treatments such as ventilation support and respiratory therapy. With the aging population and frequent occurrence of chronic respiratory diseases, the demand for medical tracheal catheters and airway products, especially the high-precision products, has been increasing. The production of precision medical catheters is a comprehensive system engineering. The precision medical catheter has small dimensions, complex shapes and cross-sections, so it requires high geometric precision and is difficult to produce.

In the past, the development of medical catheters in China was relatively backward and started late, with the limited precision production technology and basic level, the average production tolerance was higher than 5%, and the high-end products for domestic demand still relied heavily on imports. At the same time, the added value of the product was relatively low, and most of them were low-value and consumable catheters. In response to this problem, Ms. Xiaohong Sun has increased R&D investment at a very early stage. On the basis of automated production technology, she has developed an intelligent cutting system for precision medical catheter based on computer cloud vision technology, intelligent cutting control technology, and intelligent measurement and control sensing technology for each production process, which has realized a breakthrough in the precision basic technology of medical catheters, and can effectively guarantee the geometric precision and uniformity of its intrinsic properties. It has successfully reduced the production precision tolerance to 0.02mm (2 times higher than the industry standard), achieved international advanced level of precision control, avoided the complications such as airway damage caused by the placement of tracheal catheters in clinical applications, met the medical specifications for minimally invasive, internal examinations, as well as difficult cardiac bridging, organ transplantation and other surgeries, filled the gap in domestic precision catheter production technology, and reached the leading level in the industry.

Promoting technology sharing actively and expanding the international market of medical catheter market

With the implementation of the new medical reform policy, the improvement of the medical system and the acceleration of the domestic substitution of medical devices in China, the medical device market in China has maintained rapid growth. It is estimated that the medical catheter market in China will increase to RMB 94.34 billion in 2022 with a compound growth rate of 12.56%, far exceeding the global average. The United States, Japan and other countries are still the world leaders in high-end medical device products and technologies, occupying the mainstream high-end market.

Xiaohong Sun told the reporter that Tianzuo Medical has made certain technological breakthroughs in the production scale, product quality and performance stability in the field of medical device manufacturing. By all-round digital and efficient technical practice, the company has achieved fully automatic, intelligent and efficient production of high-end precision medical products, with an annual production capacity of 200,000 sets of catheters. Well-known companies in the same industry, such as Jiangsu Apon Technology Medical Co., Ltd., SCW Medicath Ltd. and Beijing Kelian Shenghua Application Technology Research Institute, have introduced Ms. Xiaohong Sun’s technology in succession, and applied it to nasal care, pain management, anesthesia safety, sign monitoring, obstetrics and gynecology, urology and other fields. The application products have spread to more than 70% of the Grade III Level A hospitals and medical institutions in China.

In the future, with the development of modern science and technology as well as the intensification of the aging trend of the world’s population, the scope of application of medical catheters in modern medical diagnosis and treatment and home care will continue to expand and the importance will continue to increase. Therefore, it has great development potential in the industry in the future. In the diversified market, Xiaohong Sun said for sure, Tianzuo Medical will continue to deepen industrial research and investment and industry cooperation, contribute to the digital transformation and intelligent upgrading of the medical device industry, and jointly promote the pace of China’s “intelligent” manufacturing towards globalization.

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