Medical Device Trade In Programs: What about the old devices?

Manufacturers may initiate a medical device trade in program for a number of reasons, such as a recall, a release of an upgraded product, advances in the technology or consumables, or just the desire to keep the product off the used market.

Trade in programs can be challenging. Manufacturers are usually designed to ship things out, not receive them back in. Returned devices need to be inventoried, stored, and sometimes disassembled for parts re-use.

And then there’s the process of disposal. Those devices can’t be thrown in a dumpster. In most cases, it must be proven that they were disposed of in an environmentally compliant way and that no private data is recoverable.

Medical Device Trade In Solutions

Manufacturers have two solutions for the logistics of implementing a trade in program; Managing it in-house, or outsourcing it.

In-house: Depending on the quantity and size of your devices, an area of the appropriate size (separate from your manufacturing area) needs to be designated for returns. You will also need:

  • An area to unbox the returns
  • A place to store or dispose of packing material
  • A disassembly area if parts will be removed
  • A system to scan and inventory every device received
  • An area to package devices/parts that are going to a refurbisher, reseller, or recycler.

Outsourcing: Finding the right vendor can be challenging, but once you find one that can do all the required steps, your trade-in program should be self sufficient. Here are the things to look for in a medical device trade in vendor. They should have the ability to:

  • Receive and segregate your devices on an ongoing basis
  • Have an established tracking and reporting system
  • Disassemble devices if necessary
  • Destroy/Shred any data storing hard drives
  • Customize their process- Do you need parts back? A weekly summary of devices received? Custom reporting?
  • HIPAA compliant processes
  • Environmentally compliant disposal

Once you find a vendor, implementing your trade in program is easy. Depending on your devices, you or your vendor can create an online form for returns, or you can provide your end-users with a mailing label, mailing envelope, or return instructions.

Contact us for some medical device trade in program examples or check out this white paper!

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