Big Data Is Coming To Medical Device Marketing and Sales

big-data-infographWhile you might be sick of Amazon telling you that customers who bought product X also often bought product Y, Amazon knows what sells more products. I’ve used the same technique in medical device markets. Last year I wrote about medical device market segmentation using procedure data – finding prospects for your procedure X based on customers who perform procedure Y. Why target interventional cardiology as a whole, or so-called “early adopter interventional cardiologists,” or community hospitals versus academic medical centers, when you can specifically target sub-segments based on actual device use, e.g. IVUS users, chronic total occlusion specialists, or high volume stenters?

In 2014, big data powers marketing in consumer and tech, and it’s coming to medical device marketing and sales. Applied well, big data can focus sales efforts on the likeliest adopters, identify prospects that you never knew existed, and uncover market segments with unique product needs. If you don’t already know the power of big-data-driven marketing in the consumer world, read the recent (chilling) US Federal Trade Commission report on data brokers.

Medical device customers are consumers too. Here’s how I used big data at Candela in 2009 to re-imagine our marketing and sales approach.

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List of Active Healthcare Venture Capital Investors – 2013 Q4

moneyhoney

It’s been almost exactly one year since I updated my list of healthcare venture capital funds with money to invest. I posted updates nine times between late 2010 and late 2012, so a new version is way overdue.

Today, I’m happy to provide an updated list, complete through 2013. While 2013 was no 2003, there are still lots of new funding sources looking to invest in great healthcare startups. Further, Bruce Booth of Atlas Venture predicts that “several other high profile life science funds are ramping up for 2014 fundraises.”

I’ve again included some non-VC firms in the list, as financing can sometimes come as debt, private equity and/or sales-of-future-royalties. I’ve also included some announcements from firms that are no longer investing, as it’s best to identify those firms early.

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A Passion For Management

Español: Peter F. Drucker, padre de la adminis...

Lots of great individual contributors ask to become managers. They reach a point in their career where a management role seems like the next logical step up. The management path appears to offer more authority, and probably more money.

Unfortunately, success as an individual contributor is no guarantee of success as a manager, and many high-performing individuals find out later that they hate the responsibilities of management. They hate the amount of time they spend in meetings. They dread the planning and budgeting. They can’t stand dealing with personnel issues. They find themselves putting off work on performance reviews. They don’t effectively delegate tasks, because they can more easily perform the tasks  themselves.

So, how do you know if you’re cut out to be a manager? Here are a few telltale signs: Continue reading

New England Venture Funded Medical Device Startup List 2013 Q3

English: Fall in New England.
Fall in New England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to PWC’s recent quarterly MoneyTree report, no new medical device companies achieved Series A fundings in New England in either Q2 or Q3 2013. Zilch, zip, zero, nothin’, no, nada.

I’ve been tracking first-time venture financing of medical device companies in Nw England since 2005. You’ll find the link to my latest list of these companies at the bottom of this post. I wish I had a better update to offer.

What’s causing this New England drought?

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Engineering Is Not Product Development

Every once in a great while I read something so well stated that I put down my book/ipad/kindle and just reflect.

So when I recently read a post from Mike Sellers on Quora, I had to share it with you. Mike was responding to the question “As first time entrepreneurs, what part of the process are people often completely blind to?

Mike wrote beautifully about software companies (read his original post here).

I’d tweak his words slightly for medical devices. Here’s my modified version of Mike’s post: Continue reading

Medical Device Startups: Extraordinary Outcomes, Extraordinary Effort

Deserve victory

My blog has gone pretty quiet for the last couple of months – an effect of the pace of a high-performance startup. After all, extraordinary achievement requires extraordinary effort.

We start new medical device companies to achieve extraordinary outcomes:

For patients, dramatic improvements in mortality, morbidity and quality-of-life.

For physicians, new and better options for patient care.

For providers and payers, meaningful reductions in the cost of care.

For our investors, healthy returns on investment.

For our families, providing for our future.

For ourselves, the exhilarating experience of extraordinary achievement.

And it truly is exhilarating. Continue reading

There’s a Medical Device For That

English: Foldable, acrylic Intraocular Lens

Like virtually all cataract surgery patients, my parents were thrilled with their cataract procedures. Why not? After a quick office procedure, their new intraocular lenses (IOLs) gave them  better vision than they had experienced for more than a decade.

Now imagine a world with no devices for cataracts, only drugs.  Imagine taking one or more medications every day for the rest of your life – drugs which could not cure cataracts, but which slow the inevitable progression towards blindness. Imagine the typical chronic-medication side effects: somewhere between minor discomfort and an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality.  How does that sound?

When given a choice, I’ll take medical devices over drugs every time. Here’s why.

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Medical Device Venture Funding Trends – Q1 2013

PWCMoneyTree Medical Device Venture Investments 1995-2013The latest quarterly MoneyTree Report was just released, providing some insight into the state of medical device venture funding in the US. I downloaded and plotted the historical trend data for medical device VC investments in the U.S. from Q1 1995 to Q1 2013.  Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

What do the trends tell us?

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Star Medical Device Engineer – Experimental Protocols

My colleague Chris recently noted: “the right way to do things is often a pain in the butt.” No question that most engineers see protocols as a pain in the butt – yet another file to sherpa through the document approval process.

There’s an important logic behind the practice of doing protocols. Imagine doing an experiment on humans (aka a clinical study) without one. But “good product development practice” isn’t the only reason star medical device engineers write protocols. Believe it or not, star medical device engineers view protocol writing as a key element of team leadership and team effectiveness.

Let me explain. Continue reading

US OIG Warns on Physician Owned Distributors

USDOJ Office of the Inspector General Seal

In 2011 I urged extreme caution for medical device companies considering  selling products through physician-owned distributorships (Caution: Physician-Owned Distributorships Ahead).  This week, the US Office of the Inspector General (US OIG) issued a fraud alert for physician-owned distributorships, stating that “OIG views PODs as inherently suspect.”  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.