Today, there are more than 6,500 medical technology (MedTech) companies in the U.S., all dedicated to transforming the healthcare industry by developing new tools that result in improved patient diagnosis and treatment. Their impact has been significant; these innovative technologies have driven a 60% decrease in patient-days spent in hospital over the course of two decades.
With more Americans prioritizing their health and wellness and the healthcare industry in the midst of a digital transformation as a result of the pandemic, there’s more of a spotlight on MedTech and its role in improving health outcomes. As opportunities emerge to elevate patient care and outcomes through new technologies, it is important for companies to know what exactly patients are looking for and need. By tapping physicians early in the product development and marketing planning timeline, MedTech companies can better understand and meet the needs of the end user: the patients.
Giving a voice to patient needs
No two patients are alike — each have unique personal and familial health histories, as well as unique physical chemistries. Often, however, their common denominator is the ZIP code in which they live, which can be more predictive as to what may impact a patient’s health than their genetic code.
For MedTech companies — some of which are operating on a global scale — it can be challenging to properly identify and address challenges impacting various communities. Thankfully, physicians can help bridge that gap. By interacting and having in-depth conversations with patients day-in and day-out, understanding the underlying issues impacting the community and being exposed to the latest drugs, procedures and technologies, physicians can help MedTech companies navigate new health concerns to best improve health outcomes. As such, physicians are an invaluable resource offering comprehensive insights to support a company’s product development and/or testing phases.
Beyond product development, physicians can also aid in elevating a company’s marketing strategy, while ensuring it remains medically accurate. They can offer perspective for how to talk about and position a product in a variety of settings, including among patients and their families, healthcare professionals and insurance providers, as relevant. In addition, a physician brings an authentic voice that offers more value and trust to end users of a new product and an added layer of credibility, ultimately bolstering the efforts of the marketing team.
Innovating together to improve health outcomes
Nearly half of the U.S. population suffers from a chronic health condition and the number of those affected is predicted to continue to rise over the next decade. Maintaining healthy lifestyle habits are important in reducing risk of an initial, or additional, diagnosis; and early detection and management are critical in improving a condition, or preventing it from progressing. Whether it is a wearable device, a handheld ultrasound, a bioprinter, or something else, MedTech companies are indirectly involved throughout a patient’s wellness journey through the adoption of their innovations.
Given the role of MedTech companies in patient treatment, physicians can assist through the research and development phase by offering real-world observations and supporting data to ensure that technology is developed with both the patient and health condition in mind and marketed appropriately. Additionally, with part of the MedTech industry regulated by the FDA, incorporating physician insights throughout the entire production process — from concepting to go-to-market strategy — can aid in a product securing approvals and clearance.
Sourcing physician insights
Just as healthcare has gone digital, so too has networking. Now, in-demand physician experts can be accessed on-demand through flipMD, the first physician-only platform.
flipMD is lowering the barrier for physicians and businesses to connect and innovate by applying the gig economy model to a number of industries, including MedTech. Through the easy-to-use platform, MedTech companies can post non-clinical jobs to source the right expertise, no matter the project, location or specialty. It also provides physicians the flexibility to pursue the opportunities they choose, allowing them to explore other career interests outside of the clinical setting.
Involving physicians benefits more than just the MedTech companies and their improved concepts. By collaborating together, MedTech companies and physicians can have a lasting, meaningful impact on patients and the industry at large.
For an example in action, visit flipMD.com.