Design & Innovation
Edwards Lifesciences’ work to improve Product Lifecycle, Design and Innovation supports our Aspirations to Transform Patient Care Through Innovative Technologies and Strengthen Our Communities.
Innovation is at the core of Edwards Lifesciences. We challenge ourselves to envision new ways to advance our technologies and improve patient quality of life. When it comes to cardiovascular disease, there is always more to be done. Our focus on innovation allows us to produce life-saving products and therapies that transform the lives of patients around the world.
Edwards takes a strategic, thoughtful and disciplined approach to product innovation. We focus our work on exploring the valves of the human heart. This enables us to stay at the forefront of our industry and continually expand the possibilities of patient care.
Edwards typically invests around 15 percent of annual sales into product innovation, which benefits our ultimate, and most important, customer: patients. Our approach drives strong financial performance and provides us with unmatched expertise on therapies that enhance patient lives.
- Edwards’ Critical Care group invests to strengthen our core hemodynamic portfolio and drive standardization of Enhanced Surgical Recovery programs
- Our Surgical Heart Valve Therapies group is developing new tissue platforms that improve durability, ease of use and expand therapies to broader populations
- Our Transcatheter Heart Valve Therapies group leads the industry in innovation for less-invasive aortic heart valve replacement therapies that improve patient outcomes
- Many patients suffer from mitral and tricuspid regurgitation, which is a significantly undertreated and deadly disease. Transcatheter technologies have the ability to transform care and Edwards’ focused investment in structural heart initiatives has resulted in multiple early clinical stage therapies including innovations in mitral valve repair and replacement and tricuspid regurgitation and valve repair.
Protecting intellectual property is important to maintaining Edwards’ leadership position in medical technology innovation. The strength of our proprietary technology fuels our research and development of new, patient-focused solutions. Edwards owns more than 3,200 issued patents and pending patent applications in both U.S. and foreign jurisdictions. We monitor our competitors to identify possible infringement, protect our patents and take appropriate action when required.
Packaging Design & Innovation
Edwards strives to maximize the value and function of our products from design to end-of-life. We strengthen our new packaging design to enable safer, more efficient and cost-effective product delivery. This includes exploring sustainable solutions that decrease impact to our environment. For example, our Corporate Packaging Engineering Group is pursuing options for biodegradable and high-barrier materials that may improve packaging performance while reducing cost and waste. By 2018, we will assess lifecycle impacts on packaging designs and product materials for existing products across business units.
Supplier Partnerships for Innovation
Edwards builds collaborative, long-term relationships with key suppliers who support our vision for innovation. We ask our suppliers to provide insight into the design and manufacturing of new products. We also include supply chain employees on most research and development product teams to facilitate supplier selection and early supplier involvement. This enables our research and development teams to collaborate with suppliers throughout the product development process.
Every year, Edwards Lifesciences creates new products with the power to save lives. In 2016, Edwards received approval for three new devices:
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the advanced EDWARDS INTUITY Elite valve system, a rapid deployment device for surgical aortic valve replacement. Built on the trusted PERIMOUNT tissue valve platform and incorporating innovations from transcatheter heart valves, the EDWARDS INTUITY Elite valve system is designed to facilitate minimally invasive surgery and streamline complex aortic valve replacements. This technology offers a cutting-edge treatment option for patients with aortic valve disease and is now commercially available.
- CE Mark for our INSPIRIS RESILIA aortic valve, the first in a new class of resilient heart valves. Incorporating the advanced RESILIA tissue, the INSPIRIS valve leverages features of the trusted PERIMOUNT Magna Ease valve and includes the proprietary VFit technology, which is designed for potential future valve-in-valve procedures in which a transcatheter heart valve is deployed within the surgical valve.
- CE Mark for our Acumen Hypotension Probability Indicator (HPI), a breakthrough technology that alerts clinicians to potential hypotension, or abnormally low blood pressure, in their surgical and critical care patients before it occurs. HPI is only compatible with Edwards' minimally invasive, hemodynamic monitoring solutions.
Acumen HPI software’s breakthrough technology, using big data and predictive analytics, alerts clinicians to potential hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure) events, in their surgical and critical care patients before they occur.
HPI is part of the Edwards’ Acumen decision-support software suite. It is unlocked by the minimally invasive FloTrac IQ sensor, the first commercially available technology within the IQ family of hemodynamic solutions. HPI and FloTrac IQ both received CE Mark in the second half of 2016.