Accelerating together to navigate market access for Medtech start-ups

Healthcare, specifically Medtech, start-ups face multiple challenges from product conceptualisation to when it is on the market. This includes the value proposition of new technology over existing approaches, product validation and testing, creating marketable products, clinical trials, and so on. To effectively introduce a new product to market and ensure it is widely adopted, Medtech start-ups must consider many facets of their go-to-market strategy from the early days of product development.

To address this challenge, our India2022 team of Pavan Sannuti and Dr Vandana Sarda hosted a powerful session of effective peer-to-peer mentoring with expert panelists on ‘Accelerating Together, Towards Market Access’. The discussion addressed challenges start-ups are navigating, including government channels, manufacturing, as well as overseas market development to successfully bring their medical technologies to market.

INSIGHTS FROM THE SESSION

When designing a Medtech product, the identified problem statement needs to be followed up with the intended use of the product, behaviour of the customers, settings in which it will be put, and the external environment it will face. From the start-up’s perspective, when trying to disrupt an existing system, it is worthwhile to compare favourably against the existing product and going beyond a proven Minimum Viable Product to build a prototype that has a wider market reach and acceptance.

Anand Madanagopal, Founder & CEO, Cardiac Design Labs reiterated while sharing the challenges his start-up faced during product development said, “We had to bring a minimum viable product to the market but [which] necessarily could not be a prototype, so you need to strike a balance and that balance is always very difficult.”

The session also discussed the challenges of expanding to the international markets. “On one side you take care of intended use, market feedback, features missing, software components to be added. On the other hand, you need to continuously do value-engineering, especially if you are moving from capital selling market to subscription-based markets,” said K Chandrasekhar, Founder & CEO, Forus Health.

He also touched upon the importance of understanding deeply all the parameters for product fit and design, regulatory and requirements before the start-ups enter the international market with their product.

Shantanu Pathak, Co-founder, CareNX Innovations, mentioned about the strong linkage between product usability and public health engagement. He shared how the end users could be the actual users (patients, nurses, technicians) and thus, the whole concept of who is the end user, consumer and buyer have to tie up very well towards eventual collaboration for successful commercialisation.

This reiterates the need of real-world settings and testbeds that need to be part of a successful commercialisation journey, something that Xynteo has taken up in gusto along with the Telangana Government in form of Project Tej.

Most importantly, for public health engagement and scale-up, an approach of solving the system-level problem and finding the system-fit, is important and sustainability of the model comes through taking it up as a partnership instead of a solely revenue generating mechanism. 

A survey conducted by over 200 medical device professionals including start-ups examined the barriers to commercialisation of novel medical technologies. In the survey, specific concerns were raised around lack of a defined pathway for clinical testing of medical products, fragmentation of distribution networks and a paucity of professionals with knowledge and experience of medical technology. 

Through this session, the insights discussed paved way for a deeper engagement through our MedTechConnect platform and Project Tej testbeds for start-ups to connect to experts for guidance and support. Xynteo’s Vandana Sarda and Cyient’s Pavan Sannuti moderated this session, which you can see here. For insights from our India2022 work, you can learn more here.