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NAD Wartenberg Pinwheels: Towards Sustainable Design for Single-use Medical Devices

"There is no doubt that there has been a steady shift to disposable medical supplies and single-use medical devices over the years, and the trend is likely to increase. Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are a genuine threat to patients and can be very costly to hospitals and clinics in more ways than just exposure to insurance claims. Healthcare centers are subject to penalties by having their Medicare and Medicaid payments reduced. Reusable medical devices have always carried a degree of risk for cross-contamination, surgical site infections, and HAI—far greater than a single-use device. Operations and procedures with reusable medical devices place patients at unnecessary risk. Single-use devices are sterilized, individually packaged, disposable instruments that carry none of the risks that reusable instruments do. This is the main reason the shift in using single-use medical devices and disposable medical supplies has occurred." "What are the Benefits of Disposable Medical Supplies vs. Reusable?" (

When analyzing the pros and cons of buying and using disposable medical supplies or single-use medical devices over reusable medical devices, the number one factor to consider must be patient safety and any possible risk of infection/disease.

In this regard, single-use medical devices offer more protection than those reusable medical devices. The benefits of single-use medical devices (such as no risk of infection/disease transmission from the product, immediate usage, and increasing environmentally friendly solutions) are proving to be more cost-efficient and offer time-savings that reusable devices cannot.

Single-Use Medical Supplies: Safer, Time Saving and Cost-Efficient

Though there is a place for both reusable and single-use devices in medical practice and healthcare, the increase in fears of blood-borne pathogens like HIV helped ignite the growth of the Single-Use Device business model in the medical industry, and will continue to grow as newer, more innovative, and efficient technological breakthroughs in manufacturing and production contribute to the production of higher quality and sustainable instruments at lower costs, whilst eliminating a key point of contamination, giving patients and practitioners great peace of mind.

In addition to such risks as contamination and infection, environmental impact, cost-efficiency, time-savings are other factors to consider. Overall, there is a considerable process and set of environmental issues in reusing a medical device. The ongoing costs for reprocessing medical devices and time-consuming activities include cleaning supplies purchasing, personnel, staff training, equipment, and its repair/maintenance/replacement, tracking and accounting, inspections, certifications, people pesky device wrappers, and other related upkeep. Particularly for the decontamination and/or sterilization processes, these require large amounts of water, detergents, harmful chemical disinfectants, specialized cleaning equipment, steam production, and electricity to reprocess medical devices for re-use. The impact these detergents and disinfectants have on the environment poses ecological concerns and the added energy drain to clean them is costly.

On the other hand, with single-use devices, you pay once and you’re done. They are delivered ready for immediate use, and no time is spent in reprocessing (so it's time-saving). It’s another reason that single-use medical devices and disposable medical supplies are becoming an attractive alternative to reusable devices.

How does the NEURO AIDE DISPOSABLE PINWHEEL aid with sustainability?

Sustainability is hardly ever easy. When the NAD Pinwheel design was first considered, there was a clear approach for increasing the product sustainability: Thoughtful design and engineering to remove product complexity, choosing sustainable materials, optimize device size and material use without compromising functionality and patient/doctor safety. Another important factor was the positive consumer experience of having a new product every time they underwent treatment.

NAD Pinwheel was developed as a first-generation device that consumes fewer raw materials in production, identifying the two major components (pinwheel and handle) and their functionality. By optimizing a design to minimize disposable elements we can make a significant and positive difference, which is why the long handle was reduced to an optimum size, minimizing material waste yet allowing physicians’ adequate grip for rolling the pinwheel over the skin and performing the test without any inconveniences.

Beyond this, NAD PINWHEEL INC. has always envisioned beyond an effective diagnosis tool, a sustainable product, ergonomically designed, manufactured specifically with environmentally friendly, FDA-compliant thermoplastics with minimum consumption and a wide variety of recycling options, that can effectively diagnose patients for nerve damage and, above all, preventing the spread of infection or disease. Join our efforts now by shopping NAD Pinwheels here.



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