Today’s news that the industry and government are playing with the idea of moving breakthrough medical devices for life threatening ailments through the FDA approval process for faster time to market is nothing short of fantastic for medical device companies. But this news also shines a light on the issue of sales education and collaboration in getting new devices into the hands of clinicians. It’s one thing to get a new device to market faster, but this puts a lot of pressure on device manufacturers to accelerate their time educating clinicians and even their own internal sales forces. If the end goal is to save lives or improve patient outcomes faster, then logically, the education process needs to be faster. Yet there are many new forces inhibiting speed to market.
Clinicians are losing control over which devices they are allowed to select. Purchasing departments have taken hold of the decision-making in order to cut costs. If one device appears to have the same effect but is 20% less expensive, purchasing will drive clinicians to use those devices. Traditionally, medical device reps were allowed to take photos and videos of their devices intraoperatively during procedures. This was done primarily to further the education of a wider clinical audience, therefore increasing adoption of their devices. However, hospitals are limiting the sales reps involvement in operating rooms, leaving reps with fewer and fewer ways to educate clinicians about their breakthroughs in patient care.
We at eRounds have found that a technology platform can help solve some of these pressing issues. A purpose-built collaboration and image sharing platform enables reps to take and share images, post detailed information about their new devices and collaborate with a global audience of clinicians about breakthroughs and innovations in devices from their manufacturer.
One of the issues that has become top of mind for device companies is the issue of patient privacy and protecting personal health information. eRounds takes this very seriously and has built proprietary technology to eliminate patient identifying information, thus relieving the device company of potential regulatory repercussions.
We are currently working with a variety of medical device companies to deliver a complete collaboration platform that enables their reps to post, share and collaborate around detailed device information, showcase real patient outcomes and post images of their devices in use in the real world.
So while we let the FDA and government hash out the final details of bringing new breakthrough med devices to market faster, eRounds will continue to ensure that our partners in the medical device arena are armed with breakthrough technology that will enable them to educate and collaborate with clinicians, purchasing departments and the like – from around the globe or around the corner – on their value propositions.