Annie Spratt, Unsplash
Design research can help you make sense of the complex healthcare ecosystem and work out what you need to do for your MedTech product to thrive in it.
You may have a decent understanding of your users, but its important to also consider the needs of the organisation you're trying to engage with. There are often strategic motivations influencing decision making - for example, departments or trusts may be looking at saving money or increasing capacity in certain areas. Embracing design research and tailoring your product to meet the needs of both your users and the organisation will elevate your success.
Your product will likely solve a problem in your unique area where you have in-depth understanding. But your product will only have potential if many other people are experiencing the same problem elsewhere. Otherwise you run the risk of solving a problem that doesn't exist or one that is too small or localised. Through design research you can gain clarity on the need for your product in the bigger picture.
- Find the framework. Larger organisations like the NHS have a political framework motivating their decision making. Learn as much as you can about this wider framework and how it impacts decision making in the area you’re interested in. Talk to people who work in the organisation, read policy documents, and attend events online and in person. You will find out if your product will be interesting to the people who make the decisions. If you think they won’t be keen, what could you change to get them on board?
- Zoom out. When you are very familiar with a particular area or specialty it’s very common to suffer from tunnel vision without realising it. Your idea may perfectly solve a problem in your location with its unique set of users and characteristics. The key to success is whether your idea works in equivalent settings in other locations or NHS trusts. Reach out to people working in similar contexts and talk to them to discover how their situation matches or differs from yours. You’ll find out valuable insights about the scalability of your idea.
Organisations like the NHS are engaging much more now with design research in their decision making processes around investing in new products and services. They recognise the value of looking into the needs of patients and clinicians in the context of the wider systems.
We have carried out a number of research projects for large healthcare sector organisations and have developed an understanding of their constraints and motivations. We’d love to share our expertise and talk you through your next steps to help you find out more about the framework relevant to your product or service and gain insight into the scalability of your idea.