An inventor or innovator may have what they perceive as a great idea. They could be right, or, they could be wrong. Before moving on in the process of putting a product on the market—getting investors, manufacturing and other steps–, it is important to conduct early market research. Without this research a great deal of time, effort, and money can be spent to develop something that no one actually wants to purchase.
The Beginning of Market Research
can occur with either the practitioner who would be using the product, or the person who would do the purchasing. Representatives of both groups will have to be spoken with and sold on your idea, and both groups will be referred to by you further into the development process.
If you developed a new, faster, simpler way to draw blood, ask nurses and doctors if they would use the new implement. However, if purchasing agents are not on board with the new innovation, then your real next step is to convince them that using new technology will be beneficial. Will it be faster, more efficient, and/or more cost effective?
You also need to do an intellectual property search based upon your product. If there is a similar product an intellectual property (IP) right, you will need to conduct your future engineering efforts in a way to get around that existing IP. It is also import to do an IP search because you will be able to discover if you will be able to protect your ideas. If you can secure your own IP rights, future investors will be more inclined to invest in your product or idea.
The next step is to look into regulatory requirements. On requirement is a 510(k) which is when an inventor is required to prove that their device is the equivalent as a device already on the market. To some, that may seem like a bad thing, but it actually facilitates the ability to put a product into the market and getting a faster return on investment.
If a 510(k) does not work, try to gain a Pre-market Approval (PMA), which is the process required to get a new device, or a device modified on the market. Attaining PMA often requires the new product to undergo clinical trials which can take a lot of time.
If there is already a product similar to yours, don’t let that stop you from releasing a quality product on the market. If your product is better or provides better value, you may have success bringing a product into an existing market.
Read and understand the future in the market you are interested in entering. You may learn that an even better product than yours will soon enter the market; if so, you can save money and time. You can also learn about new innovations from competing sources by getting to know your market. A defined and specific market will save you and the potential consumers you speak with wasted time and effort.
Putting a product into the healthcare market is time and labor intensive. Due diligence can help make success much more likely.
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