42T's healthier carbon emissions article published in Medical Technology

42T's healthier carbon emissions article published in Medical Technology

February 2023

Medical device development specialist Sarah Knight and engineering consultant Tim Hartley at 42 Technology discuss how the medical device industry can reduce carbon emissions in their article in January's edition of Medical Technology

In a BBC article, it was found that a surprising fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions released by the NHS was from a single product: inhalers. Studies recommended switching selected users from pressurised gas inhalers containing HFCs (potent greenhouse gases) to powder-based inhalers. This was reported to have a positive impact on both the planet and patients.

Shutterstock/Black Salmon

This change has the potential to deliver major improvements to the carbon footprint of the NHS. But are there other significant improvements that can be made from alterations to medical products across the world?

The medical devices field has been slow to make the changeover to sustainable practices in the way that other industries have. This is largely due to the higher levels of regulation, challenging requirements such as sterilisation and biocompatibility.

Also, the need to undertake stringent re-validation and clinical evaluation if a significant change is made to an existing product. 

Sarah Knight adds, "Even for those who don’t accept that these are strong drivers, the benefits of greater sustainability within an industry or an individual company can be significant. Every economic sector needs to play a role in addressing these challenges and action must be taken urgently."

Read the full article in the Jan 23 issue of Medical Technology.Sarah Knight

If you would like to find out more, please contact Sarah Knight:

answers@42T.com | +44 (0)1480 302700 | Sarah Knight | LinkedIn

Sarah is a chartered engineer (IMechE). She holds an honours degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cambridge University.

She is also an experienced project manager with particular expertise in medical device development and has guided products through all stages of development from innovative concepts to detailed design, regulatory approval, and troubleshooting in manufacture.

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