Medical Design Briefs is reporting from The Medtech Conference 2019. Send us your questions and comments below.

Staying relevant in the medical device industry requires operating “with real-time information, comprehensive capabilities, and a global physical infrastructure to deliver speed, scope, and scale to keep pace in this rapidly changing market.” This model is at the heart of the Flex Platform, created by Flex as it transformed itself from a traditional electronics manufacturing services company into what it refers to as a “sketch-to-scale” provider.

While in Boston for AdvaMed’s Medtech Conference, I toured the company’s Boston Innovation Center. The center is “a concepting, design, and production facility.” It is designed to support all sizes of companies from startups to large multi-nationals. Its services include everything from sourcing disruptive technologies to accelerating product development.

“We bring insights to customers — what will technology look like in the future,” says Ben Cooper, the center’s general manager. “We have the ability to look across industries, and then help companies connect in a way that’s meaningful.”

The Boston center is the company’s newest center. It provides a collaborative approach to design and engineering as well as development of early stage product concepts for new market applications. Technology experts ensure that vision is realized. The facility has 17,000 sq ft of engineering and prototyping space to support product and system design, prototyping, assembly, and testing.

Among the technologies being explored at the center are advanced soft systems — textiles for wearables and wound care, including flexible PCBs embedded into garments. These advanced soft systems are “textile architectures that work with electronics to support and enhance their performance,” explains Cooper. They directly incorporate sensors, actuators, smart materials and other flexible electronics in order to bring new functionalities and connectivity to devices.

Ben Cooper explains the center's work with advanced soft systems.

“We have the capabilities, experience, and scale to help companies across the entire product development life cycle,” says John Carlson, president, health solutions, for Flex. And while the company can be a “one-stop provider,” it is equally able to work with companies at any stage in the product development process.

The goal of the center is to help customers source, accelerate, and commercialize technologies. “Flex ensures design for manufacturability from day one,” says Cooper.

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