BGMT Disc ***Professor Anthony ONLY***

Scenario: You are an engineer working for a company designing dialysis equipment for worldwide use.

You are interested in designing both for economically-developed countries and third-world countries. In economically-developed countries there are working dialysis systems, but your design would be an improvement. In the third-world, access to any dialysis equipment is currently limited.

You have 2 design choices and must make a decision on one design. Manufacturing and FDA approval costs are such that your company can only move forward on one of the following designs.

Design 1: A design using disposable filters that would be replaced with each patient.

Pros/Cons/Issues re: Design 1:

  •         Purchase of disposables in the third world is difficult and not typically funded by charitable organizations and government entities that might be willing to purchase or donate the equipment
  •         More profitable for the company in developed countries as hospitals would continue to purchase disposable filters
  •         Will have a secondary infection rate of 1 in 1,000
  •         100 times less expensive to manufacture than Design 2

Design 2: A design using a reusable filter that could be cleaned, autoclaved and reused with each patient.

Secondary infection is a risk in dialysis. Such an infection in a patient with kidney disease could result in long-term injury and increased risk of death.

Pros/Cons/Issues re: Design 2:

  •         Reusable filter would require autoclaves, more training, and would be more expensive initially (although cheaper in the long-term after 100 patients)
  •         In the hands of untrained personnel, could be more dangerous
  •         Less profitable for your company in economically developed countries as hospitals would not need to continue to purchase disposable filters
  •         Will have a secondary infection rate of 1 in 1,000,000
  •         100 times more expensive to manufacture than Design 1


  1.   Which design will you choose?
  2.    Would it make a difference in your decision if the design was primarily for economically-developed countries or for third-world countries?
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