Why This Is Important
While all five areas of competency are important, innovation is the driver of the medtech engine and the one upon which we will focus in this article (Figure 2). There is impressive representation of the medtech space in The Management Top 250 Ranking. Of the 26 companies listed as Healthcare/Life Sciences, 54 percent were medtech/lab products companies.1
According to the Drucker Institute,2 “Every institution…must build into its day-to-day management…four entrepreneurial activities that run in parallel:
- organized abandonment of products, services, processes, markets…that are no longer an optimal allocation of resources;
- systematic, continuing improvement;
- systematic and continuous exploitation…of its successes;
- systematic innovation, that is, create the different tomorrow that makes obsolete and, to a large extent, replaces even the most successful products of today.”
Eleven indicators are used to define innovation in the Drucker Institute model (Table 1).3
The Medi-Vantage Perspective
In almost every strategy research project we manage for disruptive medical devices, we analyze how new technology is integrated into that device and the speed at which Drucker’s second and third principals—the systematic and continuing improvement of the device (fast-following, anyone?) and systematic and continuous exploitation of its successes—are conducted. It is not enough to get the new technology into the market; medtech companies must keep technology refreshed and relevant to clinicians, hospital administrators, and patients.
Maria Shepherd has more than 20 years of leadership experience in medical device/life science marketing in small startups and top-tier companies. After her industry career, including her role as vice president of marketing for Oridion Medical, where she boosted the company valuation prior to its acquisition by Covidien/Medtronic, director of marketing for Philips Medical, and senior management roles at Boston Scientific Corp., she founded Medi-Vantage. Medi-Vantage provides marketing, business strategy, and innovation research for the medical device, diagnostic, and digital health industries. The firm quantitatively and qualitatively sizes and segments opportunities, evaluates new technologies, provides marketing services, and assesses prospective acquisitions. Shepherd has taught marketing and product development courses and is a member of the Aligo Medtech Investment Committee (www.aligo.com). She can be reached at 855-343-3100. Visit her website at www.medi-vantage.com.