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Meet the team at Cambridge Design Partnership – a brief profile of the experts, engineers and interesting people that work here. This month we’re talking to Uri Baruch, a senior mechanical engineer and expert in drug delivery devices.

Why did you join Cambridge Design Partnership?
I’d been looking to join a consultancy for a while: the variety of projects appealed to me, and the fact that you could face a different challenge every day across a range of market sectors. I was drawn to Cambridge Design Partnership primarily because it was clear I would be working at the cutting edge of technology, somewhere that was pushing boundaries. But the company ethos also attracted me. It’s apparent when you meet someone from CDP that the company culture is hard-working but informal and fun, combined with honesty and a genuine drive to exceed client’s expectations.

What background do you come from and how do apply this knowledge to your current role?
My background is very varied. My degree was in MEMS (microelectronic mechanical devices) and was quite theoretical. When I started working at Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, I was able to put that theory into practice, working at the forefront developing life-saving equipment for the military.

After that, I worked in a number of specialisms, ranging from an engineer at a company that manufactured medical devices for the IVF industry, through to running global projects with teams based in the UK, the US and China for an international inkjet company. It was there that I learnt about how to design effectively for manufacture: to ensure that designs are robust, but consider elements that might add cost or time to manufacture earlier on in the process. From working with a number of teams around the globe, it also taught me how to interact with colleagues and clients in different countries, cultures and sometimes challenging business environments where cost and innovation are continuously competing.

What interesting projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on a range of drug delivery devices for a large multinational company. As with most of our projects, the details are confidential – but I can say that they cross the whole range of devices, from well proven technologies such as needle safety systems through to new connected multi featured devices.

What sets CDP apart, I believe, is that medical device projects like these don’t just draw on engineers that solely work in healthcare. Experts from a range of disciplines are involved in the project teams – from front end innovation and human factors specialists, to electronics and software engineers, who bring technology and innovation from consumer, wireless comms and industrial markets – to enrich projects with cross sector ideas and experience.

What do you see as interesting hot trends at the moment, and do you see coming up in the future?
The buzz words in healthcare have been around mobile devices and connectivity for some time. But looking at the broader spectrum it’s clear that ‘interoperability’ is the hot trend now. How you can connect systems, or a group of systems, right from the user to the device and then the system (or systems) that capture that data – whilst making sense of the information, and keeping it secure, to enable better effectiveness in analysis and monitoring.

I also foresee great changes in remote healthcare – how issues such as the ageing population and increased burden on global healthcare systems require a perception shift in how we currently deliver healthcare. Most people these days self-diagnose with the help of the internet before going to see a doctor, and this is surely a trend that will grow.

Imagine video conferencing with an online physician who can take an initial diagnosis and send you a disposable diagnostic device, which could range from a connected heart rate monitor to a blood sampling kit with ‘lab on a chip’ capabilities. These could deliver data back to the physician who then makes a diagnosis and prescribes a course of treatment or refers you for further testing. This would ensure a better use of resources, as well as fewer visits to accident and emergency or hospital admissions which are very costly, as well as more effectively utilising healthcare workers across the country.

What person has inspired you the most in your life?
I am happy to say that working somewhere like Cambridge Design Partnership, I meet people regularly who inspire me, or from whom I believe I can learn something! But the most memorable inspirational character was my manager at my first workplace, Raphael Advanced Defence Systems, who manufactured Israel’s famous Iron Dome (the country’s high tech missile defense system). He taught me that anything is possible. Some of the ideas he came up with were so futuristic they seemed like science fiction at the time! But now the technology is there, they have been developed – some twenty years later! Through a combination of scientific knowledge and vision, he had a strong belief that he could make things happen. And he did!

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