Successfully launching a new healthcare product can seem daunting with the industry’s compliance regulations, codes, and security standards. However, it’s not much different from launching in any other industry.
In general, the attributes of a successful product launch in any given industry are similar. You’ll want to make sure you cover the basics whether you’re launching a complex health tech product, simple SaaS tool, or consumer product:
While bringing a product to market is similar across industries, there are some nuanced considerations to be aware of when it comes specifically to healthcare technology products.
Here are a few things to consider when building and launching healthcare products:
You’ll want the perfect mix of people to form your product team, from design, engineering, sales, marketing, subject matter experts, and customer success specialists. There are 4 primary risks that must be managed and mitigated when developing software products. Each of these areas should be assigned to a member of the product team whose primary role is to manage and mitigate the associated risk:
Ideally, this team will be assembled from people with previous product launch experience, as well as a mix of skill sets and backgrounds including graphic and UX design, engineering, sales and marketing, core business financial success stakeholders, and subject matter experts.
Without solving a problem that plagues the day-to-day lives of your target audience, you’re destined for failure.
The best way to identify the specific problem you will be solving with your product is to think of your persona in terms of their “jobs to be done.” Examples of daily responsibilities may include painful data entry, tedious administrative tasks, or patient management.
This is the fun part – hitting the drawing board with your team. Once you have clearly defined a primary pain point within a job to be done, you can begin engaging in common brainstorming activities:
At this point there will be several proposed ideas. We must now decide on one with which to move forward.
Here, the product team deliberates over the landscape of proposals, and finalizes the one to be prototyped. Each participant or small group will share their one identified solution, and the full product team will engage in decision-making exercises to decide the final solution that will be pursued.
Because of uncertainty, rapid prototyping is one of the best ways to begin gathering feedback from your target end-user.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “fail fast” – What this means is that you want to quickly understand whether your assumptions are right before continuing to apply them as you iterate through product development. Developing a quick prototype of the solution is one of the best ways to solicit feedback from your target audience, and provide them the opportunity to help adjust the design and development path.
It is important to think of the prototype as something you will throw away, and only build into just enough structure and complexity to validate assumptions with your target audience. It needs to be real enough to solicit an authentic response from the user but does not need to cover every contingency or experience flow.
Put the prototype in front of real users, and get their feedback. Adjust the prototype based on this feedback and repeat this process until the solution has been validated.
A minimal viable product or MVP, is a production-ready asset ready to launch commercially to your target marketing audience.
Here are some important points to know about MVPs:
No amount of testing is going to prepare your product for real-world users.
For this reason, it should help to look at your product launch as a series of small product exposures to the end users – as opposed to one big major event. Try to identify a small set of end users that will help test the product during development, and provide the kind of continuous feedback needed to ensure a successful product. Then slowly open this up to a larger and larger group. It’s better to roll the product out slowly than “launch” it all at once to everyone.
Changing the “status quo” of the healthcare industry is one of the hardest things about launching a health tech product.
Healthcare professionals are notoriously busy and lacking in advanced technology skillsets. There is also a loud market out there – with hundreds of software solutions to vet through.
Throughout the process, make sure to ask yourself and your team questions like: