4. Provide digital services throughout the patient pathway


Increased focus on outcomes

As a company’s commercial focus switches to institutional buyers, that doesn’t mean ignoring the clinicians or the patients. The need to demonstrate outcomes actually calls for a deeper engagement with clinicians and comprehensive solutions that address the entire patient pathway.

• Institutional buyers: Communicate the improved treatment outcomes (the result)
• Clinicians and patients: Help solve treatment issues and generate better outcomes (create the right results)

In other words, moving from ‘features to outcomes’ requires that we heighten our focus on context – how products are used in clinical settings and ‘zooming out’ to consider the entire patient pathway. As we increase our understanding, we can both reinforce areas where things are working well and identify ‘pain points’ where we can take action.

4. Provide digital services throughout the patient pathway

Increased focus on outcomes

As a company’s commercial focus switches to institutional buyers, that doesn’t mean ignoring the clinicians or the patients. The need to demonstrate outcomes actually calls for a deeper engagement with clinicians and comprehensive solutions that address the entire patient pathway.

• Institutional buyers: Communicate the improved treatment outcomes (the result)
• Clinicians and patients: Help solve treatment issues and generate better outcomes (create the right results)

In other words, moving from ‘features to outcomes’ requires that we heighten our focus on context – how products are used in clinical settings and ‘zooming out’ to consider the entire patient pathway. As we increase our understanding, we can both reinforce areas where things are working well and identify ‘pain points’ where we can take action.

Competitive advance through services
BCG has highlighted that the industry has major opportunities to create real competitive advantage with services that differentiate the product offering from competitors. (1) Such services may also lead to additional sources of revenue. Or enable companies to reduce total costs for healthcare providers by removing barriers to effective treatment.

The first step is often to simply pay close attention to what is happening on the patient pathway. Skilled employees or specialist consultancies can explore the big picture and uncover ‘pain points’ to be addressed. Solutions and services can then be devised to address the identified problems.

These will obviously depend on the specific situations but it is likely that many problems will result from issues around communication. When this is the case, digital technology can have a big role to play.

We have already highlighted how communications technologies can be used in clinician education programs. It can also be deployed to help clinicians communicate more effectively with their patients. One issue that regularly occurs is that clinician time with patients is very limited and yet a great deal of information might need to be conveyed. Patients may simply not be able to retain everything that was said and would benefit greatly from being able to review the information later through online channels.

The new commercial model encourages a broader view, seeing the product in a wider context of the treatment pathways and the people involved at each step.

Empowering patients

Communication technology can also be used to help a patient’s carers – family and friends – who may need better information to provide emotional support or even assistance with treatment. For example, you can empower a patient to share information with specific individuals to whom they are close, or enable their clinician to do so.

This approach – supporting a product by fixing pain points in a patient pathway – isn’t new in medtech. Many organizations have built services directly into their products to improve the patient experience.

Thinking beyond the product

US-based Propeller Health, for example, developed an add-on device to their asthma inhaler that helps patients understand the environmental factors that cause their symptoms. But there is still considerable scope for action – especially thinking beyond the product itself.

The new commercial model encourages a broader view, seeing the product in a wider context of the treatment pathways and the people involved at each step. In this way, demonstrating value to institutional buyers often begins with helping clinicians and patients get the best possible treatment outcomes – as the services that companies provide are increasingly understood to be part of the total offering.

Medtech service opportunities


Thinking beyond the product

US-based Propeller Health, for example, developed an add-on device to their asthma inhaler that helps patients understand the environmental factors that cause their symptoms. But there is still considerable scope for action – especially thinking beyond the product itself.

The new commercial model encourages a broader view, seeing the product in a wider context of the treatment pathways and the people involved at each step. In this way, demonstrating value to institutional buyers often begins with helping clinicians and patients get the best possible treatment outcomes – as the services that companies provide are increasingly understood to be part of the total offering.

Medtech service opportunities
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