04 May Instilling consumer experience in the MedTech product lifecycle
by Jayneel Patel
Many industries have been impacted heavily by the pandemic. That is especially true for the MedTech industry. According to Globenewswire, MedTech’s size reached nearly $457 billion in 2019. The market declined to about $442.5 billion in 2020 at the rate of -3.2 percent. While the mandatory shutdowns impacted the manufacturing and supply chain, it also gave birth to a new perspective in the MedTech industry—consumer 360-degree experience. The industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.1 percent from 2021 and reach about $603.5 billion by 2023 fueled by the new perspective. But for MedTech companies (new or existing) to reach new heights, they must restructure their products, services, and business models to become consumer-centric.
To create a truly customer-centric product lifecycle, MedTech companies need to approach every stage of production with the consumer in mind. Supporting technology like Salesforce is built to bring more consumer data to the forefront and empower MedTech organizations to be consumer-centric throughout production. Let’s take a look at just four key areas and how MedTech companies can be more customer-centric in each: design thinking, clinical trials, product personalization, and post-production support.
A great product starts with a thoughtful product design, and a thoughtful product design is rooted in empathy. Product manufacturing, like software engineering, leverages design thinking techniques to develop products. Since the MedTech landscape has accelerated the introduction of wearable devices, the industry is looking for new ways to ensure that the design of wearable devices truly connects with users’ styles, needs, and personal preferences. With the help of design thinking concepts, MedTech companies can uncover and understand the true need for the device to address. Additionally, by using rapid prototyping, companies can create quick concepts and gain feedback from the consumer to make informed design decisions.
Salesforce can help orchestrate this entire design process, allowing design thinking to become a continuous step in the product lifecycle. The most successful products in the market come from MedTech companies that never stop improving their design and the user experience. Since Salesforce Health Cloud is built on top of Service Cloud, it makes it a perfect fit to help orchestrate a continuous design cycle with internal and external stakeholders.
Clinical trials and testing
For Class II and Class III devices, MedTech companies perform clinical trials to test the risk and safety of the product. The companies submit their trial results to the FDA to quantifiably prove the product’s safety before its launch in the market. Salesforce Health Cloud has a Clinical Data Model that speeds up the process of structuring and conducting a comprehensive clinical study. By connecting Health Cloud with Marketing Cloud, MedTech companies can segment and source qualified members for the clinical study. With the help of Salesforce Communities, members can stay engaged with and report on the clinical study-related feedback. Collectively, the entire ecosystem is solutioned to do one thing: design and test a device/product seamlessly through one system.
Customization and personalization
In order to make the devices personalized to increase the likelihood of adoption, it is necessary to allow the consumers to customize their devices. MedTech products are designed to connect with patients physically, but with the help of Salesforce technology, organizations can provide products that also connect with their consumers emotionally. Through the application of Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) on Salesforce Industries, consumers can use self-guided flows to customize their own devices and get an instant quote with the help of a pricing matrix embedded behind the scenes. Through this, MedTech companies can associate multiple types of buyers (distribution, broker, provider, payer, and individual user) with the system and provide them each with a buyer-specific experience.
As more market segment-specific customizations are made to the device, the MedTech company can onboard new sales channels by quickly and seamlessly adding new guided flows through Salesforce Industries’ point-and-click solutions. At this stage, the customized device requirements could be sent over to internal compliance, business, and technology for their approval so that the production of the customized device can begin.
Ongoing production support with integrations
For the production stage, Salesforce integrates with manufacturing-specific technology such as SAP through MuleSoft. Having a single source of truth can allow the companies to monitor their product lifecycle from start to finish. Once the product is shipped, Salesforce Health Cloud enables the device activation, allowing the care team to have accountability for all its products’ users. Its remote monitoring capability allows the care team to engage and coordinate care quickly and effectively. With additional help from Salesforce Communities, consumers can access the knowledge base, report issues, interact with the care team, and engage in the community with other device users.
For many, being on a medical device is one of the last resorts. It is often intrusive, inconvenient, and can make a person feel disconnected from everyone else. But having a community of users lets every single user know that he or she is not alone in the recovery journey, and it can even greatly boost the recovery rate. Furthermore, giving the consumers the ability to connect through any channel allows them to access product-related services easily. The concept of building ‘communities’ for recovery has been widely tested and accepted with measurable results attributed directly to the approach.
By having a comprehensive product lifecycle where design is rooted in empathy and goods/services are delivered with excellence, MedTech companies can continue to grow in a market consumer-focused market. Using data analytics, MedTech companies can understand which design choices are more popular and how they are making a difference in users’ lives. Companies can also measure and analyze qualitative metrics to help the payer and provider understand health outcomes as the industry shifts from fee-for-service to value-based care. That’s why the technology interconnectedness and interoperability of Salesforce Health Cloud is ideal—it can enable MedTech companies to provide excellent customer experience within a simplified ecosystem.
Jayneel is VP, Healthcare & Life Sciences, here at Simplus. With a Ph.D. in engineering and MBA from Duke and over 15 years of experience, Jayneel designs and delivers empathy-driven innovative solutions in healthcare. He has developed digital strategies to reduce risk, increase visibility, and improve patient and member satisfaction. His passion is to enable better care through technology.