Better-products-and-services-Corus-Dental-Francesc-Alsina

Better products and services

Better products and services 650 365 Corus Dental

Digitalisation, as opposed to an analogue system, allows us to provide better products and services. 5 key points as to why this is so are given here.

One of the main aims of any company is to offer improvements in their products and services. Digital processes rather than traditional methods allow us to achieve such goals and to evolve.

Below we provide 5 key points as to why the path to evolution is via digital technology.

1. Communication. For a treatment to be a success there must be very clear communication between the clinic and the lab. In the dictionary communication is defined as “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behaviour”. For good communication it is necessary to have good information, in other words, quality data. This quality data can only be obtained through digitalisation (electronic prescription, taking an impression with an intraoral scanner, DICOM files, photographs, videos, simulations, etc.). The underlying challenge for the dentist is to determine clearly the parameters that are contained within the medical prescription so that the details and expectations for each case and each patient may later be communicated successfully. The challenge for the lab team is to understand exactly what the dentist is asking for and to provide a great product by applying the information available. When this communication is optimised via digitalisation, the information becomes much more transparent, accessible, clear and collaborative for both parties. Communication with such data quality can only be achieved digitally and will condition evolution following treatment.

 

2. Design. With the right information (in digital format) computer-aided design (C.A.D.) software can be used to create the product virtually. In fact, nowadays it cannot be done any other way. In medical engineering the size of the lots is usually quite small compared to other industrial sectors. In the dental lab, specifically, we always speak of personalisation for each patient, which means the lot size is 1. Therefore, in order to (repeatedly) guarantee product quality a robustly-designed computerised system is required. Thanks to C.A.D. systems all the digital information which comes into the clinic can be used to measure, assess, propose and finally design the product safely, benefitting the health and wellbeing of the patient. For example, a 0.03mm variation in dimensions may mean the difference between the correct or incorrect adjustment of the mouth splint, which would directly affect the patient’s comfort. This level of precision in all parameters can only be achieved through computer-aided design.

 

3. Production. Once this digital (virtual) design is available we have to move on to the physical (real) product. That is where computer-aided manufacturing software helps us by transferring the digital design to a machine which reproduces it exactly. Such precision and repeatability can only be achieved with machines. The important thing here is to know how to combine the different technologies such as additive manufacturing (3D printing, etc.), subtractive manufacturing (mechanising, etc.) and material science. 

 

4. Traceability. We shouldn’t forget that we are talking about medical products and services, making it of vital importance to maintain absolute control over and access to the whole process, from taking the impression, the design, and the manufacturing, to the fitting and follow-up. When we talk of a personalised product, as we mentioned above, the lot is 1, which means we should have complete traceability of each of the products and that is only possible digitally.

 

5. Continuous Improvement. Considering all the above-mentioned points, and having all the data digitalised, we are able to establish a system of continuous improvement involving both the good communication between the clinic and the lab, and establishing metrics in design and manufacturing so as to optimise results.

To conclude, the creation of better products and services will be achieved by collaborative effort and working on a platform of digital processes. And they will not be better because they are “digital” but because the offer a series of benefits such as patient comfort, user-friendliness for the dentist, following the medical prescription exactly, all in all a better experience for all the actors in the value chain.

Francesc Alsina
Chief Innovation Officer