The challenges of the healthcare industry offer innumerable opportunities for research and scientific discovery. In my role at Insightec, I encourage the innovation team to think beyond the problem we are attempting to solve to how we can provide value to our customers and ultimately to patients. Here are three principles that guide our team as we create real solutions for some of the world’s most pressing public health issues.
1. Focus on a need
Change for change’s sake may be exciting, but strategic innovation in Medtech should prioritize one end goal – how will this solution improve patient care? At Insightec, our strategy is to focus on developing therapies that have potential to improve the quality of life of patients living with debilitating conditions that do not currently have effective treatment options.
Today, healthcare providers with Focused Ultrasound programs are treating conditions like essential tremor, impacting an estimated 10 million people in the U.S., and tremor–dominant Parkinson’s disease. Beyond these movement disorders, our technology is being evaluated in more than 80 clinical trials worldwide. Our expert teams, together with leading medical institutions, identify gaps in available treatments for neurological disease states and then investigate solutions using the therapeutic power of focused ultrasound to improve lives.
2. Break down barriers to adoption
Even the most technically brilliant, easy-to-use therapy will face obstacles on its way to widespread adoption by clinicians. We can prepare for predictable challenges, like regulatory approvals, by building out a team to spearhead the submission process. We can anticipate potential challenges of specific patient populations and create solutions, such as new reimbursement models, in response. Just this year Aetna became the first private insurer to approve nationwide coverage of MR-guided focused ultrasound for treating medication-refractory essential tremor. This followed the efforts of our Reimbursement team in securing Medicare coverage in all 50 U.S. states. These reimbursement milestones are necessary to catalyze widespread adoption and most importantly, patient access to our treatment. Strategic innovation should continuously employ creative problem solving to meet any obstacles to market access – expected or unexpected – head-on.
3. Don’t stand in your own way
Sometimes the hurdles to innovation are found within your own organization. Be prepared to examine the functions and operations of your own business to identify what may be blocking progress of your strategic innovation goals. Do you have transparent communication throughout the organization? Are you vertically aligned with the right resources to deliver on the promise of the innovation? Are there processes that could be altered or upgraded to help meet your goals?
It can be helpful to look beyond what you know to other organizations and other industries to discover new perspectives and approaches that may transform how you work, how you collaborate and how you push the envelope of what is possible. We prioritize empowering our treatment clinicians to understand the potential of focused ultrasound technology. In return, these teams play a crucial role in breaking down barriers to treatment.
Insightec is on a trajectory of exponential growth that includes new products, new clinical indications, and new markets around the world. We’re currently involved in clinical trials to test the use of focused ultrasound for conditions like Glioblastoma, Alzheimer’s disease, opioid addiction, and many other devastating diseases. The success we’ve experienced to this point has been achieved by leveraging our expertise and innovation. These principles guide us as we continue on this journey to transform the lives of patients around the world.
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