In digital, guessing is the standard

A key success factor in digital innovation, invented by big players like Google and Facebook, is to run largescale A/B-tests all the time. In essence, such testing is the same as placing bets on all the roulette fields, in all casinos of the world, all the time and figuring out which strategy works best from there. Things go fast and rely heavily on user input. Digital companies build a minimal viable product (MVP) and improve through iterations, in order to ensure fast user adoption and high usage levels. Trial and error is an integral part of the game. Over time the true value of a new solution(s) emerges.

One of the major trends in healthcare innovations has been digitally supported treatment strategies. Because patient outcomes can be improved where a drug-based treatment fails, e.g. autism, dementia or ADHD, or where a medical device needs digital help. The promise digital health holds is huge. The question is: Can the approaches of digital companies also be used in digital health?

In healthcare you cannot guess

In medtech, the development processes are rigorous. Clearly defined gates strive for proven efficacy and maximal safety. There is no room for user-centered trial and error to ensure quick adoption from patients or HCPs. It is unthinkable to launch a premature beta version of a digital solution and ask patients, doctors or nurses to highlight the usability problems and solve them iteratively. It has to be (largely) right the first time. But how can you know the value of new digital solutions if you cannot test or prototype them beforehand?

Pharma is not different. In traditional pharma trial and error approaches make no sense even beyond medical and ethical concerns: Taking or prescribing a pill requires much less user-centered efforts. The clinical evidence of a treatment just is the value of the treatment. But when treatments are digitally supported or even replaced, things change.

In summary, in healthcare you need to know the value of a digital solution before it is being developed. You can’t put it out there and see what the market says.  So, what can you do to speed up the healthcare approach for the digital world?

Stop guessing: Stakeholder-Focused Innovation

We at Vendbridge worked on several digital health projects over the past 2 years and developed an approach to combine the advantages of the two worlds: A structured and data supported process allowing iterative elements before committing extensive resources. We call it Stakeholder-Focused Innovation (SFI).

SFI starts by taking the perspective of the patient and of healthcare professionals very early on in the development process to design a Prototype Value Proposition that is sharp and compelling. To do so, we use the Jobs-to-be-done logic, a powerful mental model to take the stakeholders’ perspective and identify their most burning Pain Points independent of specific solutions. The process allows to set sight on key stakeholder problems first, before committing extensive resources.

Innovators who want to apply SFI in digital health need to answers the following three key questions:

  1. Who are the stakeholders influencing the purchase and use?
  2. What are the Pain Points of those most influential stakeholders, when trying to get a job done?
  3. What is the most compelling narrative to convince these stakeholders?

Continue reading

To continue reading,  just fill out the form below and you will instantly get access to the Stakeholder-Focused Innovation process. In this second part you will get:

  • A step by step description of the SFI process
  • Tools for each step to support discussions and research
  • A Value Proposition framework that eliminates guesswork
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