Biotechnology has done a lot right, but areas in which it can improve include clinical insight from surgeons. If you have a great idea, or have made great ideas come to life in the past, ask yourself—could it have been improved with the support of a surgeon as a consultant at your firm?
Chances are a surgeon in your field could directly aid product development and facilitate beta testing, as well as many other aspects of that product development all the way through to marketing.
In this article, I will discuss why biotech firms should consider hiring a surgeon as a consultant.
What Do Surgeons Bring to the Table?
Biotech firms who have used surgeons in past product development phases see the clear benefits. No matter what niche field of design you’re working in, surgeons bring experience, insight, background on academic research, and ideas that can directly impact product development.
Often, surgeons are out in the field and working with patients and coworkers on a daily basis and they know the pain points. And usually these pain points are significant and they are being hashed out and talked through regularly, often with no remedy in sight. This means that surgeons might not only have ideas for improvement, but they might also have a strong conceptual understanding of the problem that needs to be solved and how to do the solving.
Entrepreneurial surgeons are most notably not known for their ability to invent or create business opportunities and this is where they shine. Often, this enables them to look at the product through a variable light and to see the product for the solution that it is rather than the profit that it will bring in.
Here are some characteristics that surgeons have that biotech firms may be lacking otherwise:
- Contextual analysis, or the ability to look at a problem, the context, and the presented solutions to see gaps in the concept.
- Adaptability for on-the-fly problem-solving.
- Critical thinking that helps to uncover previously unthought-of problems, and usually the wherewithal to even present ideas that they have not thought all the way through.
- A willingness to bring this information up when others might not.
- Strong communication skills to convey pain points explored during surgical practice.
- Experience in research and academic fields to be able to collaborate with the current product development team.
- Use cases and examples from patients to encourage more fruitful brainstorming.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Why is it Important That Biotech Firms Include Surgical Insight?
You may see the insight that surgeons bring to the table, but why is this important?
Product development particularly in the field of biotech is extremely competitive. The global biotechnology market value is expected to reach $727.1 billion by 2025. We are seeing increases year-over-year in this market, with 2020 bringing a revenue of $108.2 billion.
Overall, getting into the biotech market can be challenging. However, once in, costs to produce products are relatively low. This has increased competition within this market, making it extremely important for biotech companies to be able to produce high-quality and niche products with extreme ease, cost-effectiveness, and market insight.
Without clinical insight from a surgeon, your biotech company won’t be able to get ahead of the competition. And when you’re sinking so much money into the development of your product, you want to do it right—and often, your investors suggest, you need to do it right.
In addition to market competition, biotech companies need to get it right for patient use cases. There are just so many times when a product comes to market that just misses the mark. And while that is a blow on behalf of the firm, it is an even bigger blow to the patients who need that product.
I think of the forgotten demographic; there are so many women who suffer from endometriosis. There is no cure for endometriosis and there is no known test that we can use to identify this illness. When so many women are in pain due to this disease, biotech needs to hit the mark and come up with sure-fire ways to fix this ailment.
The same goes for acute, life-threatening issues like heart impairments. Anything that is off in the product could cost someone their life. The margin of error for biotech is extremely small. Hiring a surgeon as a consultant will only improve your chances.
The Strategic Advantage of the Surgeon Consultant at Your Biotech Firm
Once you bring on a surgeon as a consultant in your firm, you’ll be able to use them to your strategic advantage and reap the rewards.
Consider starting a task force co-led by your surgeon consultant and head product developer so that each team can come in and sit down with the surgeon to get their bearings. This task force can assess:
- The breadth of products that your firm is in the process of discovering.
- The stage of development that each product is at.
- The number of resources and personnel available at that firm and for each product.
- Budgetary restriction and timelines to pay attention to.
From there, they can analyze each product development process to determine:
- Immediate actions to take to improve the product design or implementation.
- Areas that need to be halted for more research and development.
- Potential areas for market research and beta testing.
- Immediate knowledge of problems that are halting current progress.
These are just some examples of the strategic ways that your surgeon can support your current operations. There is no need to think that you are too late—a surgeon is more than capable of coming in and learning your process and about your products and adjusting on the fly.
Get Ahead Of The Competition: Arm Yourself With Surgical Experience and Knowledge
Having an expert consultant on your team comes at a cost, but this cost is minute compared to the extravagance of cost savings down the road.
With their experience, you can glean cost savings associated with wasted resources and wasted product development time. You’ll also gain more trust once you’re marketing the product because your clients will see that you have spent the time to figure out what exactly that field is lacking.
The amount of opportunities available to you once you arm yourself with surgical experience and knowledge is exponential. You may be surprised at the number of opportunities and product ideas that you can come up with once you bring a surgeon on board.
I hope this shows that collaboration is the key to success for medical development. Not exactly sure how this works? Reach out to me, Dr. Vonda Wright, to discuss your options.