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MEDRAD Innovation Journey - from start-up to Industry Standard: Mountain Climbing, Spelunking, Over the Horizon Home Runs, and creating a “DC-3 Effect”

Arthur E Uber

Abstract

Medrad was a pioneer and is now a current leader in the medical imaging industry; which, after acquisition is now part of Bayer Radiology. In this case study, we describe the customer, user, and ecosystem centric processes employed by the company to identify underserved, unserved, and as yet unimagined markets to commercialize its technology. The evolution begins at the start-up stage, follows the development and growth stages, and includes the history, philosophy, and principles that created a global leader in med tech innovation. You will see the journey described through several metaphors - “mountain climbing, spelunking, and over the horizon home runs”. We also describe the importance of the “DC-3 effect” which has been used in the aerospace industry to describe the importance of assembling all the right elements, similar to an ecosystem, to build an industry standard platform. Many of the processes employed by Medrad utilized innovation principles before they became well developed and popularized; they sought “blue oceans”, understood disruption, and utilized design thinking principles. The company also adopted the balanced scorecard approach to align corporate vision and goals before the methodology became common in many industries.

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