Trilogy TidingsMay 2012
In several decades of consulting practice I've never seen a new product succeed that did not directly address a real clinical need - never. Everybody knows that. But not everybody knows how to assess and calibrate those needs. This month's excursion touches on acknowledging the greatest healthcare challenges, actually observing specific needs, and judging their monetary value against clinician compensation.
|Try Needs-Driven Innovation -- Really
A recently published interview with Paul Fearis, CEO of Clinvue, included some real pearls of wisdom. I could not have uttered them better myself, so I excerpt them here.
"Innovation at the moment is less about ... massive sea-change innovation and more about optimizing products and bringing new features and perhaps reducing cost. I think cost is a big issue that we could talk about in some depth. Innovation doesn't necessarily mean entirely new and never-seen-before. It's more about the commercial application of creativity. Innovation at the moment is more about delivering the same or slightly better standard of care, but at significantly less cost."
"Once in a while the soap falls on your head in the shower and you have a blinding flash of inspiration. But if you've got to get up at eight o'clock every morning and be innovative till five o'clock every night that takes process and hard work. There's that famous Thomas Edison quote where he said something along the lines of 'Opportunity is missed by most people because it's dressed in overalls and looks like hard work'."
Clinvue's methodology is multinational hospital observational research (aka ethnography) on a grand scale, much grander than we generally recommend. But Fearis does reveal an interesting ancillary benefit of this approach: "We don't buy or sell medical devices. We never have and we never will. We represent a safe interaction that hospitals can have because we don't represent conflict of interest." ... "I think that's the important point. We can act as something of a firewall, as insulation between our mainstream clients, who could suffer from conflict of interest, and the hospitals and the healthcare workers. And it's important because we find that the doctors do still want to be innovative and be part of making things better, be that devices or healthcare as a whole."
Is this a subtle commercial for our observational research services? Sure. Should you try it anyway? You bet. Whomever you choose to engage, just do it!
|Does Physician Compensation Matter?
Think it's not worthy of your consideration? Think again. Physician compensation influences their attitudes ... about your products and services, about your salespersons, about the benefits they derive from a relationship with your company. Shorten their procedure time, and you win. Improve their clinical outcomes, and you win again. Enhance their stature in the hospital or among their practice peers, and bingo! Force them to justify an expensive purchase to a higher authority, and you lose. Cause, or contribute to, their medical error, and you're in the doghouse for sure.
Clinician compensation is a stand-in for value. The value of your offering will be unconsciously compared to her/his perception of personal value. Clinicians are human beings first. Simply put, a high-value clinician will tolerate - or even prefer - a high-value product or service. OK, so how do you determine their compensation? You're in luck. Medscape has just released their 2012 Physician Compensation Report. It's loaded with data based upon their recent survey of over 24,000 US physicians. (By the way, 26% of US physicians earned less in 2011 than they did in 2010.) See the details here.
|Great Challenges of Health and Medicine
TEDMED Conferences invite medical luminaries to lecture to other medical luminaries on a regular schedule. In addition, they sponsor a survey of these luminaries on the 20 Great Challenges of Health and Medicine. Findings of the 2012 version can be found here.
Of the current 20 great challenges, I think the following six are subject to significant solutions offered by medical-product suppliers:
- Achieving medical innovation
- Managing chronic diseases
- Medical communication
- Future of personalized medicine
- Addressing healthcare costs
- Eliminating medical errors
Got a solution in your hip pocket? Bring it on.