Trilogy Tidings
April 2017
in this issue
     Selling new products into the healthcare ecosystem. What's more important and interesting than that?

Buying Influences in Healthcare          
     Unless you are the second coming of Rip Van Winkle, you know that US healthcare has changed and will continue to change in the years to come. Specifically, the entities that influence the purchase of medical products and services, and the processes by which those purchases occur, are in flux.
     At the risk of oversimplifying the changes we've already experienced, the key dynamics have been:
  • Healthcare providers, and especially physicians, now exert diminished influences on purchase decisions.
  • The "buyer" is less likely to be a single care provider or institution and more likely to be a complex combination of a provider, hospital, insurer, and/or integrated delivery network.
  • Each buyer, as defined above, within a given geography is likely to be different from other such buyers; a uniform buyer definition throughout the US is increasingly unlikely.
      Anybody who sells into the US healthcare system is well aware of these changes and has had to adapt their sales and marketing resources and methods accordingly. However, it's less clear that folks who research healthcare markets, for whatever reasons, fully recognize what has happened and continues to happen.
     Let me explain. Historically, one would conduct primary market research by interacting primarily with healthcare providers - physicians, nurses, PAs, NPs and medical technologists - because providers were the most influential customers or users of medical offerings. Since that is no longer necessarily the case, effective market research has become more challenging in two ways: (1) people with different roles in the system, differing buying criteria, and multiple geographies must be recruited as research respondents, and (2) the total number of respondents must therefore be greater to achieve representative samples.
     Today's healthcare researcher now needs to understand the roles of the new deciders, what their decision criteria are, how they interact with providers, and - above all - how to reach and incentivize them effectively.
     Then there's the matter of setting prices, obviously a hot topic in the pharmaceuticals space but also increasingly feeling some heat in medical devices and diagnostics. That's a whole other buying influence deserving of attention and debate.
Selling in the OR          
     There's one especially interesting sales situation in healthcare: Selling in the operating room. I recently came across a very interesting and helpful piece on that subject entitled " Selling in the O.R. - 6 Rules for Knowing When to Speak Up ... and When to Keep Your Mouth Shut" by Hannibal Bray.
     The article was widely praised. I heartily endorse it.
Your Product Launch Failed. What Happened?           
     It happens to us all, including the best of teams: Your new product suffered greatly disappointing sales, and customer adoption sputtered. Why?
     Let's assume that your selling efforts were appropriate and adequate. What else could have gone wrong? Here are some likely causes of your disappointment:
  • You overestimated demand for the product by its targeted customers at the price offered
  • The product failed to perform as claimed
  • Design of the product was less than great
     Let's address that third possibility, faulty design. Design is the No. 1 determinant of whether a product/service/experience stands out or not. If your design stands out, your product is more likely to be commercially successful. If not, probably not.

     But what do I mean by design? Perhaps more than you think. Check out my latest white paper: "Design of Everything Matters". Now your new product may have a better shot!
Medical Devices Exempt from 510(k)          
     If your enterprise engages a full-time regulatory affairs manager, you should be covered in tracking announcements by the US FDA of Class II devices that are exempt from premarket notification. If not, or if you're not sure that you're so covered, the latest draft list of these devices was published in March.
     It would be foolish (and perhaps a firing offense) to spend time and money on a 510(k) application when such an activity was unnecessary!
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 my Newsletter Archive of prior Trilogy Tidings (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.

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