Hosting physician panels is a bit like herding smart cats. It can also be expensive. But it's usually well worth the trouble and cost in gathering new-product intelligence.
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Is a potential future threat to medical-device makers in the works?
|Learning from physician panels
In April and May of 2013 we recruited and engaged two physician panels in order to assess potential market interest in a new method for patient assessment at the point of care. Our intent was to solicit the participation of key opinion leaders (KOLs), a total of eight target clinicians and laboratorians over 2-day periods. Our efforts were successful in guiding our client in future development of their unique technology.
These important methodologies reminded me of some basic truths I've learned over the years in the recruitment and management of these in-person meetings of physician groups. I'd like to share some of my suggestions with you in the hope that they will encourage you to consider this vehicle for product-concept research and perhaps avoid some missteps in the process.
As a starting point, consider my thoughts in the brief entitled "Gaining Clinical Insight: Physician Panels". Please share some of your own experiences as well.
My no-fee offer
We've encountered a brief Spring hiatus at Trilogy Associates, from which you can benefit. I'm feeling generous enough to offer you some no-fee feedback on:
- A business or commercialization plan
- A new-product idea
- A marketing message
- A presentation
Just send it along for me to consider, including a proposed NDA if necessary. The topic should be in some way medical-related. I make no promises as to acceptance, hours invested or response time, but what do you have to lose? Be advised: Generosity is a fleeting thing.
Will hospitals and doctors become medical-product producers?
My question is a serious one. It's stimulated by a recent article by Marilyn Marchione of the Associated Press entitled "Doctors save Ohio boy by printing an airway tube." This fascinating article describes the efforts of doctors at the University of Michigan Health System to fabricate an airway splint to repair a birth defect in a three-month-old boy. They actually "printed out" 100 tiny tubes using plastic particles and a 3-D laser printer and implanted one of them in the youngster. It worked! The child is now 19 months old and doing well.
This wonderful result conjures up an interesting question: Will hospitals and physicians someday become routine producers of medical devices manufactured using
3-D printers and implanted or otherwise applied in patient care? The prospect boggles the mind and raises many questions. How might the capabilities of these new producers and the quality of their products be assured? How will conformance with product specs be demonstrated? Will these processes be regulated by FDA, and if so how? What product volumes might be realistically achievable. Will such activities compromise the success of today's medtech manufacturers?
Physicians today have substantial latitude in their choices of devices and drugs for patient treatment. Might that latitude someday include building their own devices? Your thoughts?