Trilogy Tidings
September 2012
in this issue
What's a POC Ecosystem?
Virtual Reality is Addictive and Unhealthy
Resources from our Archives
What does Trilogy do?

     My interest in point-of-care (POC) diagnostics began in the 1980s when I was involved in the development of blood gas, electrolyte and oximetry systems for use in surgical and critical care environments. Those timely measurements were, and certainly still are, critical to preserving life. Quick response is the compelling requirement, which drives the need for measurement at or near the point of care. Siemens is focused on something they call a "POC Ecosystem". I share my take on that concept and what it means for your POC commercialization efforts.


     Worried about you and your kids (and grandkids) being over-connected to virtual reality -- everywhere and all the time? Well, you should be. Bill Davidow, an ex-chiphead at Intel has thought and written about this threat. I point you in his direction.








   Change Ahead



What's a POC Ecosystem?
      Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics has apparently coined this term and revealed its meaning in a recently published interview. The interview is worth a read but, frankly, my elaboration is better.

Point of Care  

     A POC ecosystem is everything that surrounds a point-of-care diagnostic product. It's much more than an instrument and its associated consumables (although that's kind of important). In the simplest terms, the ecosystem is what makes the product clinically and commercially succeed or fail. To wit:

  • CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) defines the "complexity" of the great majority of diagnostic products. In essence, CLIA will tell you whether a neophyte (e.g. a patient or a clinician) or an expert (a laboratorian) can use the product - or someone in between. The CLIA definition essentially ties your hands and in effect specifies the required ecosystem for you.
  • The attitudes and capabilities of laboratorians (pathologists, lab directors and lab techs) are key parts of the ecosystem because these persons are ultimately responsible for the performance of your product. They must insure its analytical performance by imposing frequent quality controls and in many cases by providing your product's operators. This is a huge headache for the laboratorian if the product is used outside the central/core lab.
  • The means by which patient samples and product answers are transported are critical. Speed -- more accurately turn-around time -- is often paramount. This requirement typically suggests the need for a stat lab or satellite lab near the point of care. Do such facilities already exist, or must they be added? Can reported results be communicated electronically in real time? Are staff members available to personally serve these transport and reporting needs?
  • Do clinicians understand and endorse the need for the data that are reported? Are those data really, and directly, clinically relevant? What kinds of data interpretation and therapeutic guidance are offered? Are clinicians properly introduced to the product and sold on its utility?
  • Are the instrumentation, sample handling, and reagent handling intuitive and easy to use? Are operators adequately trained? Who trains those operators? Who tracks overall productivity, misuse and analytical errors?
  • Finally, do the product and its ecosystem justify their costs? POC diagnostics is often more costly to implement than analysis in the central lab. Does a facility's investment in a POC ecosystem generate adequate returns in improved patient outcomes and cost savings elsewhere?

     Food for thought. As I think about it, I believe it's this "POC ecosystem", however you choose to define it, which has caused the market for POC diagnostics to grow in fits and starts over the last several decades. And, it's likely to remain an important influence going forward.



Virtual Reality is Addictive and Unhealthy 


     Virtual reality is adding busy-ness and addictions to our lives and institutions out of proportion to the real value that it adds. That's my conclusion following my latest read on the topic, a fascinating article by William Davidow.


Virtual Reality  

     Bill's article is thoughtful, well researched, and hard to summarize in brief, so I recommend you read it in its entirety. Nevertheless, here are a few quotes to whet your appetite:


"I now believe that our minds, bodies, businesses, governments, and social institutions are no longer capable of coping with the rapid rate of change."


"... the technology is rewiring our brains."


"Worse, though, is that our brains seem to crave the virtual world, with repeated exposure producing changes that resemble drug addiction."


"The main challenge we face is to recognize that we are designed to reside in a slower-paced world. This is extremely difficult to accept."


"But we have to make a choice: We can design our lives so that we stay in control, or we can cede the control of our lives to our tools."


"My advice to you is to take control of your tools. I promise your life will be better if you aren't constantly checking to see if you've got mail."


I believe Bill's advice is spot on.


Resources from our Archives 
     Check out our Reading Room to view my published articles, presentations and white papers on a variety of topics.


     And, you can examine an archive of my prior newsletters (since February 2007).



What does Trilogy do? 

     Trilogy Associates facilitates business growth and renewal through commercialization of new products, providing the following services:
  • Opportunity assessment
  • Business planning and enterprise growth strategies
  • New-product conceptualization, commercialization and marketing
  • Market research and competitive assessment
  • Business development and partnering
  • Market and technological due diligence
  • Assessment of the therapeutic and diagnostic potential of novel technologies
  • Design of efficient and effective development strategies for early-stage biomedical products
  • Business and technical writing/publishing

     Inquiries to establish whether and how we might support your business initiatives are always welcome.  Contact us.  And check out our partner, Innovalyst, A Catalyst for Innovation.

Contact Information
ContactInfoJoseph J. Kalinowski, Principal
LinkedIn Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/trilogy