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Omron Hits a Home Run in Personal Medical Devices

Omron products Earlier this year, the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show was held in Las Vegas. For the occasion, a Japanese business magazine interviewed the new president of Omron, a medical device company that manufactures home healthcare devices such as blood pressure monitors, body weight and composition meters, and others.

In the interview, president Mr. Isao Ogino described not only innovation in their new products displayed at the Las Vegas show but also advances in the company's core beliefs about customers and product development. For example, their traditional productdevelopment mindset has been focused on "we make xxx, yyy...," a common approach observed everywhere.

Under Mr. Ogino's new management directives, Omron developers have recognized that their devices are just tools, and that their mindset needs to shift to "why we should make the product" and "why we should not do..."

The company's product developers are now challenged to investigate from the customer's perspective. No longer are product features such as 'integrated,' 'compact,' 'easy to read,' and so forth sufficient. Now they must begin by asking how their product can help patients avoid adverse health events related to high blood pressure, high blood sugar, constricted breathing, and other conditions.

They named this new directives "Project Zero" (meaning driving down users' adverse health events to zero). To address this, they must now understand "true" customer needs. Here is an example.

Customer Need: "I need to know when I have dramatic changes in my blood pressure throughout the day."

Product Function and Features:

From a QFD perspective, Omron's new thinking seems well under way to being compliant with the new ISO 16355-1:2015 standard. For example:

The next stage for QFD and ISO compliance would be to address customer opportunities for exciting quality that go beyond zero negative events and looks for positive events such as:

Several opportunities are coming up where you can learn how to best implement and comply with the new ISO 16355, and at the same time build competitive advantage with this new mindset and tools. Please visit the Calendar.

Introductory ISO 16355-1:2015 Lectures:

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