Lessons from @IntuitiveSurg – Don’t sell your device, sell your program

1024x1024As hospital systems consolidate, and as more physicians become hospital employees, the business side of the hospital has taken control over the acquisition of new procedures and technologies. For medical device companies, the days of driving sales via physician champions is over.

Each time I seen an announcement like the new Bridge Clinic at MGH or the new bladder-cancer detection system at Intermountain Medical Center, I am reminded that providers are fundamentally regional service businesses.

For providers, acquiring an innovative new medical device means offering a new service to patients. For a provider, the decision to acquire a new medical device is a business decision to grow the hospital’s service share. The more novel the service, the more business risk faced by the hospital, and the more complicated the purchasing decision. Philip Kotler’s book “Strategic Marketing For Health Care Organizations”  gives an example of the new reality:

A hospital is considering adding a sports medicine program to its portfolio of services. Before deciding whether to launch such a program, it plans to do market research to gauge the size of the community need, discover which competitors already offer such a program, consider how it will organize and deliver the program, understand how to price its various services, and determine how profitable the program is likely to be.

Medical device sales and marketing needs to adapt. Intuitive Surgical shows us how.

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List of Active Healthcare Venture Capital Investors – 2016 Q3

At the urging of one my readers, this weekend I updated my list of healthcare venture firms that are raising or have raised new funds. I’ve included a smattering of PE firms too. This list is probably the most popular feature of my blog.
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New England Venture Funded Medical Device Startup List 2015 Q4

strongbarrett-moneyI’ve been tracking first-time venture financing of medical device companies in New England since 2005. Whew!

Startups are where innovation really happens. It takes the dedicated focus of a startup to drive real change to our healthcare system. A first venture funding is a validation of technology, market and business model. A key metric of the health of our local medical device innovation economy is the rate of new startup funding.

I also track startups because I want to provide a list of funded startups to the local community – job seekers, venture investors, and service providers. Startups have a hard time finding the right connections in the community, and vice versa. Maybe I can make it a little easier.

I’ve counted nine venture-funded medtech startups in 2015, of which one is a restart, one has no medical device products (but may), and one is a Ukrainian company with a Boston-area office. Given the venture funding environment, 2015 was a respectable, thought not stellar, year for venture funded medical device startups in New England.

Read on to access the list.

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List of Active Healthcare Venture Capital Investors – 2014 Q4

Baby You're a Rich ManAnother year has gone by since I last updated my list of healthcare venture capital funds with money to invest. Better late than never, I guess.

Today, I’m happy to post an updated list, complete through November 2014. Good news: lots of new funds have been (or are being) raised!

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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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