There’s never been a better time to get involved with the healthcare industry. It’s an area of constant change that seeks out more innovative ways of working. There is also a growing need to support an aging population, and investors are keen to spend money on great medical ideas. In short, if you can come up with a great product idea that helps save lives, it can be a fantastic opportunity to make a difference. But how do you get started? We’re going to go through the basics of getting involved with this enormous, $2.8 trillion industry.
The first step in the process is developing your ideas. There is an enormous desire for innovative medical devices all over the world. So, it makes sense to spend a lot of time researching and developing concepts to ensure that they work. There are a few areas worth considering. First of all, can you produce a product that will improve the lives of people needing medical care? There is the diagnostic route to explore, too. Ask yourself: is there a genuine need for your product? Speak to doctors and patients alike to explore their pain points.
The legal bit
Once you have a concrete idea, be sure to file for patents to protect your intellectual property. It’s also vital to make sure your product is not going to break any health care laws or regulations. There are two things to watch out for here: patient safety and privacy. It’s a complicated field. We would suggest hiring a lawyer with the relevant experience to ensure you aren’t crossing any boundaries. Regulations are going to play a major part in your business and compliance is something you are going to have to get used to.
Because of regulations, you are going to have to be clever about how you build your product. For example, if you are creating a piece of new diagnostic equipment, cleanliness is going to be critical. Your device might need an electronic membrane keyboard rather than a mechanical version, for example. Users will be able to wipe it clean; there are no entry points for dirt, and it can be 100% sealed. Always choose suitable parts when manufacturing your product and you will avoid any issues later on down the line.
When it comes to marketing medical equipment and products, it’s all about networking. Selling to hospitals and healthcare professional can be notoriously tough. It can take a long time to develop the key relationships you will need – and to prove your product’s worth. You will have to make value the focus of your marketing campaigns, as hospital and health care facility budgets can be tight. You will also need to foster good relationships with medical insurance companies to ensure use of your product gets as much use as possible.
If you want your startup company to grow, you have to bed in for the long haul. It can take a long time to get a health care product on the market, and more patience is needed than almost any other industry. It can be a five to ten-year process, so bear that in mind before you commit.
Good luck – and let us know how you get on!