Commercializing New Technology and Medical Device After Six Years in Development.

Taking a new medical device to market is never an easy task. Regulation, medical protocols, skepticism by clinical experts, budget constraints – these are just a few of the hurdles that need to be tackled. And an even bigger challenge may exist in the area of strategy and value proposition – especially when a product has been in development for six years. A lot can change in that time period even in an industry such as healthcare which can be slow to change.

After an initial assessment, it quickly became apparent that moving the company from being an R&D establishment to one focused externally would be no small task. Not only did there need to be consideration for the brand and its strategy, but careful and deep analysis of the product road map was imperative. The results of the analysis lead to a new brand strategy, a new approach to the market as well as an expanded and accelerated product roadmap – especially for the software components of the products.

Brand and messaging shifted from “empowering confident decisions” to cancer care and the patient – highlighting the ultimate value delivered by digital pathology solutions.

Over the course of the six years since the formation of the joint venture, new paradigms, ideals and approaches to healthcare began to emerge. Marketing was able to distill the market evolution into five key areas. Each one informed the near term positioning as well as long term roadmap.

Emphasis was shifted from cost savings and workflow enhancements of the digital pathology system to more precise care. Cancer is a highly complex disease and the digital pathology system – especially the software component – has the potential to change lives through more precise treatment. Mapping the patient healthcare journey allowed for a deep assessment of where the current product offering delivered value and where future roadmap components were required.

With the rapid expansion of new cancer care technologies such as genomics and molecular testing, the pathology landscape continues to expand. And yet, the role of the pathologist is seldom understood or recognized. As a provider of a new technology that could vastly change how cancer is diagnosed, it became evident that the market needs a specialist to come forth as the diagnostic integrator. Who better than the pathologist to take center stage.

Cancer care requires that a number of specialists are orchestrated to deliver optimum care. With the pathologist as the new diagnostic integrator, a new level of emphasis would come to this part of the continuum.

The shift in brand perspective and messaging mandated an exhaustive review of the product portfolio. Shortly after launch, it became apparent that there were significant gaps not only in how the product had originally been positioned but in how the future effort should be prioritized. Emphasis was given to cancer care and consulting and looking to partnerships to rapidly expand the offering became a top priority.

To rapidly expand the product portfolio and shore up gaps, key partnerships were evaluated. This approach was enabled by the company’s open platform design.