Sunday, April 24, 2016

Making medical devices that customers want

Major challenges influence how the medtech industry works in term of product management, market positioning, and early-stage design and development. From downward cost pressures, reimbursement and regulatory requirements, increased competition, and, internal pressure to generate sales. As easy as it sounds, a customer-centric approach is a difficult thing to accomplish – but it helps medtech companies to think differently, engage with customers differently, and design and market devices differently. Here’re some tips on how adopt this strategy:
Source: MDDI
* Start with the Right Mindset: being a medical device company means that you are in the business of restoring and improving health. “Recognizing that will help you stay focused on making devices customers want and will buy.”
* Get Customer Input the Right Way: don’t just ask what features customers want in your product – ask what outcomes they want from using your product. “It is not the responsibility of customers to figure out what features will provide the experience they desire or achieve the result they want. What customers can meaningfully talk about is what experience and outcomes they want.”
* Minimum Viability, Maximum Value: “Put in just enough features so you validate that what you’re making is viable. Viable means the lean product sufficiently meets a customer need and will sell”.  In the medical sector, this could be harder due to regulatory approvals, reimbursement issues, and clinical trials. However, this is an attempt to minimize both investment and risk to avoid going to market with an expensive, feature-rich product that bombs. Maximum value is all about how much value your product can provide to customers.
         Despite significant barriers to successfully launch a product, this is an industry that exists to save lives – so companies should stay focused on the value, not product features.

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