Survey Finds 81% of Medical Device Companies are Not Using Tools Designed for the Medical Device Industry in Their Quality Management Processes

Report from Greenlight Guru finds the medical device industry lags behind in technology adoption and Quality-as-an-Asset mindset.

Greenlight Guru, the only medical device quality management system (MD QMS) software platform, today announced findings from the “State of Medical Device Product Development & Quality Management Report 2020.” The report provides insights on survey findings from more than 500 medical device product development and quality professionals from across the world, giving a look into the strategies, tactics, and technologies they are using to accelerate product development, ensure compliance and promote quality.

Key findings from the report identified several organizationally-inflicted challenges to improving product development processes, with a shortage of resources (55 percent), insufficient budget (37 percent) and lack of management buy-in (29 percent) cited as leading issues. Additionally, more than half of the respondents shared that their organizations are utilizing tools that are not specifically designed for the medical device industry as it relates to design controls and risk management of their device(s).

“To find that more than 80 percent of organizations are asking their quality and engineering teams to ‘make do’ with legacy tools and solutions is as an eye-opener,” said David DeRam, CEO of Greenlight Guru. “Quality isn’t a department, but a cultural mindset within a business. Quality cannot be treated as a check-the-box activity — unfortunately, even when mandated by law, we’re seeing companies do the bare minimum.”

Survey data also identified risk as a significant challenge for leadership, particularly in regard to data and visibility. More than half of respondents stated that risk management was not fully integrated into their quality management systems. On top of this, 43 percent of respondents identified access to adequate risk information for device design and development as a top challenge in risk management.

“Medical device manufacturers are taking huge gambles with their risk management; if management teams lack adequate insights into device risk, auditors lack sufficient insights, too,” said Jon Speer, VP of QA/RA at Greenlight Guru. “Revisions to ISO 14971 are coming soon, meaning issues with risk management now will create larger risk management issues in just a few months.”

Additional findings from the survey include: 

  • 75% of medical device professionals said that they would not be prepared for an unannounced audit by the FDA or other Notified Body. Of these professionals, even fewer (20%) said they are currently ready for an EU MDR audit.
  • Of the organizations that say they use legacy products such as Excel or paper-based record-keeping systems, less than half (41%) agree that quality is woven into the organization’s culture (compared to 56% using best-in-class tools).
  • 71% report the data collected by their company’s quality system is not easily accessible in real-time. And nearly 60% indicated the data generated by their quality system was not consistently reliable.

Results from the “State of Medical Device Product Development & Quality Management Report 2020” were developed from an online survey fielded between September 11 and September 27, 2019. Survey respondents consisted of 524 participants, 93 percent of whom represented quality, regulatory, engineering and operations professionals from small and enterprise-size device makers.


To download the full 2020 State of Medical Device Product Development & Quality Management, please visit

About Greenlight Guru 
Greenlight Guru is the only quality management software platform designed specifically for medical device companies. The platform helps companies bring safer products to market faster, simplifies FDA and ISO regulatory compliance and provides a single source of truth by connecting the management of all quality processes like CAPAs, risk, audits and more. Greenlight Guru’s platform is used by thousands of users across the globe to push beyond baseline compliance and achieve True Quality for their medical devices. For more information, visit

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State of Medical Device Product Development & Quality Management Report 2020

“To find that more than 80 percent of organizations are asking their quality and engineering teams to ‘make do’ with legacy tools and solutions is an eye-opener.”