Roche Redux, Part 2.

Last Sunday, I traveled to Indianapolis for the fourth annual Roche Social Media Summit. Those invited represented a cross-section of the diabetes online community – adults with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, parents of children with type 1 diabetes, and even a trained health care professional now creating mobile health solutions. Roche covered all travel, food, and lodging expenses, as well as provided a couple of giveaways that I will touch upon in the next few days.

I may or may not have explained in the past that I once worked at a medical device manufacturer. In that other life, a whole decade ago, I provided administrative support for sales training as well as customer education. (Customers in this case included surgeons, nurses, and techs who would use the surgical equipment the company manufactured and sold.)

While I participated in a mandatory manufacturing tour as part of orientation, I ended up going on several more accompanying salespeople in their initial training as well as with those individuals who had been invited for a key customer meeting. (Customers in this case were the individuals’ hospitals or surgical centers, and representatives included nurses and purchasing managers.)

When you have seen one medical device manufacturing tour, you have seen them all. Not to discount the experience at all because my first time through allowed me to understand the complex processes that go into making a medical device. Even the design of the manufacturing plant is a complex process. However, I had “been there done that” multiple times in advance of the Roche tour and was kind of bored. (Just being brutally honest here.)

That being said, the highlight of the tour was actually the reaction from all of those who had not been through such a experience. How they now understood that incredibly complex processes were involved in creating a test strip, receiving more insight into the cost as well as the manufacturer’s attempts at making accuracy a priority.

I think that is something that all patients with diabetes should be aware of – how their test strips (and insulin pumps and CGMs) come to be. Not everyone can do a live manufacturing tour, of course, but a video tour…hmm?

Posted on August 2, 2012, in Diabetes. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. People like me, who were majorly impressed?? LOL

  2. Chris Stocker

    I also was one f te people that were totally amazed. I now see the technology behind all of this and am blown away and understand the high costs. I still think that costs can be cut somewhere in the process and still keep accuracy up, but I don’t have the answers to how.

  3. I would be SO into a video tour of a manufacturing facility!

  4. The test strip manufacturing tour seemed very similar to the CGM manufacturing tour at Medtronic. I am wondering about the difference between them caring about consistency and reliability and caring about accuracy. As in, does it just consistently give me the wrong number?

  5. Scott K. Johnson

    It really is an eye-opening experience, isn’t it?


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