The development of a promising innovation begins with an understanding of clinical expectations. The medical device voice of the customer analysis is the process of capturing expectations and preferences for a life sciences innovation under consideration for development. This analysis determines the projected adoption of a device based on primary input from key opinion leaders. Medical technology developers hire medical device consulting firms to conduct direct, one-on-one interviews with physicians having significant and aligned domain experience.
The voice of the customer analysis delivers the opinion of primary users and the target market of the device. The analysis addresses the chasm between the technology physicians would consistently purchase and the technology they are “interested in”. This analysis also confirms the adoption cycle as driven by the market perceived device performance and clinical expectations. It explores multifaceted requirements for concept validation and development risk mitigation. The insights from the medical device voice of the customer analysis identify instrumentation features, practice patterns, therapeutic trends, pricing, and price sensitivity considerations influencing the adoption of the device. In addition to understanding the physician purchasing decision, the voice of the customer analysis also identifies and verifies key opinion leaders that influence their field. Key opinion leaders are often early adopters
.An innovator is required to understand the high-priority expectations of the target markets before the development of the technology. Physicians use technically sophisticated products for diagnosis and treatments, often at significant cost. It is critical for a device developer to listen to expectations and develop a product that improves clinical outcomes while being more cost-effective than existing technologies.
The voice of the customer analysis uses techniques and methodologies including in-depth one-on-one interviews, quantitative surveying, and customer journey analysis to identify, interpret, and prioritize expectations of potential adopters. Gaining a thorough, in-depth understanding of the customers’ expectations can be very challenging without working with medical device consulting firms. These firms do not only identify the potential adopters’ expectations but also identify the unique preferences about the potential adopters for a competitive advantage.
Complexities In The Voice Of The Customer Analysis
An innovator should rely on a consulting firm for the voice of the customer analysis for the following five reasons:
Long Development Timelines
It takes many years to develop, clinically test, produce and market a new medical innovation. For this reason, the cost of failure is high. Misunderstanding of customer expectations can lead to commercial failure. A medical device company must capture the exact expectations of potential adopters and develop the device with expected features right from the beginning.
As healthcare professionals are experts in their fields, capturing their expectations and preferences is often very challenging for an innovator. With their years of clinical experience, they have very specific and detailed knowledge of the domain. They know about diseases, procedures, techniques and the cost and practicality of the available medical technologies. They treat patients in different clinical settings. An innovator cannot overlook these details.
The technology under consideration for development will compete with on-market and pipeline devices in the target market. Customers will evaluate and compare the new device with the devices they are currently using and the other potential devices. Medical device consulting firms identify unique customer requirements and review both direct and indirect competitors. This helps in positioning technology with a competitive advantage.
The medical device industry is highly regulated. The innovation has to meet critical regulatory requirements. These regulations are for the protection of the patient, clinicians, and payors. However, regulatory requirements also increase development costs, timelines and risks. The innovator has to ensure compliance and avoid costly violations. This makes the voice of the customer analysis more complicated. A medical device company must keep in mind that there are different types of medical device consulting firms offering different consulting services.
Limited Research Infrastructure
Medical device startups don’t have research technologies and staff to identify the exact target market expectations and conduct one-on-one interviews with potential early adopters. Medical device consulting firms have the resources required for conducting the voice of the customer analysis.