The Circular Redesign Focus Point tool

A novel method to determine focus points for redesigning surgical devices for circularity

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For healthcare, an industry that is currently responsible for up to 10% of the global carbon footprint, the transition to carbon neutrality and circularity will be an enormous challenge. As 20-30% of the total hospital waste originates from operating rooms, optimising recovery from these waste streams has the potential to make a significant improvement on the environmental footprint of the healthcare sector. However, the recovery of components from current surgical devices is difficult and laborious and thus redesigns are necessary. A gap in the literature is identified regarding design methods specifically targeting circular redesign of surgical devices. Therefore, this thesis aimed to develop a method that helps designers in redesigning surgical devices for circularity.
As a result, the Circular Redesign Focus Point (CRFP) tool is developed. The tool guides designers in making substantiated decisions on which components to improve the recoverability of, by redesigning the surgical device. Through the assessment of the device on a component level, a set of outputs is generated which are split in the categories disassembly effort and potential gain. Utilising this division the new Circular Redesign Necessity metric is developed, which is used to score the focus points for redesign.
The validation results indicate that the thesis aim is achieved by the development of the tool. With this, the novel tool addresses the identified gap in the literature. The tool forms the first design tool for circular surgical device design and provides a starting point for future studies in this field.