Trilogy Tidings

January 2014


in this issue
Better Understand Your Markets in the New Year
Medtech Embraces Services, Not Just Products
Resources from our Archives
What does Trilogy do?

     I wish you and yours a very pleasant and fulfilling New Year!


      Did you receive my December newsletter? I hope not, because I didn't send one. I don't recall missing a month since I began sharing my thoughts in this way since 2007. But December got the better of me. Trilogy Associates had a busy Fall season.


     Do you have a clear understanding of your market(s) and how you address them? That's what this installment is about. Just some advice that's not exactly rocket science, but reminders of techniques that often work based upon lots of personal experience; plus, an important emerging trend in the medtech space.





   Change Ahead


Better Understand Your Markets in the New Year

     Trilogy Associates is not a market research company. We don't do large-scale market research of all kinds for all kinds of clients. Ours is a management consulting practice focused on assisting industrial and financial clients in the commercialization of new products - primarily medical and life science products. Nevertheless, we do an awful lot of market research in service of this mission. It just goes with the territory.


     December is a look-back time of year for me. Last month I put together a series of not-so-random thoughts about the market research principles that have served me well over the last 25 years - the stuff that tends to work. The result is a slide show titled "A Guide to Great Market Research". You will find a narrated version here.




     A few years ago I addressed the general topic of voice-of-the-customer (VOC) research. A bit of a different slant, that slide show is titled "Voice-of-the-Customer Programs". You will find a narrated version here.


     Finally, last year I wrote about the whole process of assessing the commercial potential of new-product concepts. That slide show is titled "A Screener to Guide New-Product Assessment". You will find a narrated version here.


     If you would prefer to avoid hearing my voice or just want to capture these wonderful insights for posterity, here are the links to the text-only versions of these slide shows:


A Guide to Great Market Research

Voice-of-the-Customer Programs

A Screener to Guide New-Product Assessment


     I really hope you find these guides useful. I know that some important concepts are not covered in these writings; please share your thoughts on what I've missed.

Medtech Embraces Services, Not Just Products

     A few isolated examples are conspiring to become a trend:

  • Fresenius has for the past several years been running dialysis clinics through a US subsidiary
  • Covidien runs its Sandman patient compliance program to improve the treatment for sleep disorders
  • Through its Hospital Solutions unit, Medtronic runs more than 40 cath labs in Europe and is expanding its services to include post-therapy care, home care, and monitoring
  • Medtronic recently acquired Cardiocom, a company which helps keep tabs on congestive heart failure patients
  • Medline Industries' Advancing Health Together program is developing tools, services and education to help nursing facilities improve their quality of care

     If this is a trend, it's worth paying attention to in addressing two realities, one offensive and one defensive. Some medtech firms are playing offense in recognition of the now-inevitable need to combine first-rate patient care and societal cost control. A supplier cannot long endure without responding to this emerging dictum. Some firms are playing defense in response to some sobering medtech industry trends reported by EY in September:

  • Revenue growth remains slow (about 2%)
  • Venture financing has recently dropped precipitously (down 21%)
  • Capital financing has been steady, but most of the funding went to a few large companies

     Then, of course, there's the ACA's medical device tax on revenues. Defensive maneuvers are in play to counteract these recent trends. Offensive strategies are being engaged to alter business models so as to preserve and grow revenues while meeting critical healthcare financial threats in many countries. (I have first-hand knowledge of such offensive strategies within our own client base.)


Business Model  

     EY characterizes these experimental new business models cleverly:

  • Beyond the product, e.g. providing consulting services as well as technology
  • Beyond treatment, e.g. prevention and remote monitoring to more efficiently improve outcomes
  • Beyond the hospital, e.g. enabling patients to manage their conditions at home, without frequent and costly clinical interventions

     I've become convinced that these apparent trends are real. In a sense, they are in response to the needs for large firms to prosper and small firms to survive.


     What's your new business model?

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.

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