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Network helps with device development

Oct 2009
David L. Shenkenberg,

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – Developing a marketable medical device is often a confounding process, but help is available. A new online software program, e-Zassi, enables medical device professionals to search for and be searched by potential partners, vendors, funding sources and manufacturers without revealing trade secrets. E-Zassi is part social networking site, part Internet browser and part software, and it is the first such program to be tailored to the medical device industry.

SBIdeas_000005138187Medium.jpgTo begin using the program, go to and fill out the Innovision Report, a 30- to 40-page questionnaire that uses the information you provide to evaluate your product. The entire report covers product development, marketing, intellectual property, preclinical information, regulation, reimbursement and grants. The grant matching system matches your product to available grants, gives you information on that grant, and tells you how and where to apply. The report takes about an hour to complete and ultimately generates a US or an EU classification. The company emphasizes that it neither requests nor reveals any confidential information.

“It provides a level of exposure that hasn’t been there before,” said Walter Galler, vice president of marketing for e-Zassi, which is based in Fernandina Beach. “The idea for this came out of a medical device company [Zassi Medical Evolutions LLC] and some of the frustrations that the management team experienced during the successful commercialization of various medical devices.” Zassi Medical Evolutions was founded in 1999.

There are individual, corporate and student levels of membership in the e-Zassi network. The price is $225 per year for an individual to become a member of the network, plus an additional $1750 to make online postings and use the software. The company will discuss corporate rates upon inquiry. Students can use all of the program features free of charge.

The company calculated that the program, which launched earlier this year, is a $27,000 to $50,000 value. That is what it would cost a medical device company to get all the information, make the interpersonal connections and do the work without the software.

The e-Zassi community is representative of various segments of the medical device market. It currently has less than 1000 members and, of these, around 4 percent of the companies use photonics in their medical devices.

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