Designing diagnostics for the end user in a rapidly changing healthcare world

New technologies and changes in the healthcare ecosystem are driving transformation across all aspects of the landscape at an unprecedented rate. Given both the scope and velocity of these changes, IVD manufacturers are challenged with how to develop products that keep pace and meet the needs of end users.

At our annual AACC breakfast event, I had the honor of chairing a panel discussion featuring Max Williams (Bio-Rad), Michael Quick (Hologic) and Kfir Oved (MeMed Diagnostics) as they explored the topic of designing diagnostics for the end user.

Panelists (from left to right): Anthony Annibale, Max Williams, Michael Quick and Kfir Oved.

During the discussion (which is available to watch here), the panelists shared their views on trends and strategic directions being undertaken by IVD manufacturers, along with insights and experiences gleaned from involving end users in driving true product differentiation into diagnostics of the future.

Below are some of the key insights that were shared by the panelists during the discussion.

Max Williams on taking time to really understand how your products are used in the field

“Everything you think you know [about your instrument], you don’t,” said Max. He then shared a story of the time they brought on board a UX designer and sent him to France as part of a project and was immediately surprised at what he discovered.

“He went into a lab and noticed that there were about 10 sticky notes all over the screen that were short cuts.” Max later went on to say, “we have 16 trainers who train on this [instrument] day in and day out.” The fact that, “people still have to make shortcuts tells us that we don’t know everything that we think we know.”

Max used this story to underscore the importance of watching people using your product and really observing them in the environment.

Mike Quick on seeking new ways to gain insights

“We recognized that there were probably things that we could do differently and better,” shared Mike as he talked about the opportunity he had to establish an incubator within the company. “It’s not a novel concept, but for us it was something that we wanted to try and it gave us the ability to really run a start-up inside of a much larger organization.”

Mike went on to say that what he enjoyed most about the experience was, “the rolling up of the sleeves and going in and being with the customer to really understand [their challenges].” He had end users walk through a patient sample, all the way from collection, providing a deeper understanding of their process and their pain points.

“It’s that rolling up of the sleeves that I think really allows us to gain those insights,” said Mike.

Kfir Oved on exploring new methods to drive innovation

“Our [platform] is composed of measuring three different proteins, combining them using a proprietorial algorithm and providing a score to the physician,” shared Kfir. “It seems like a pretty straight forward task to present these results.”

Kfir went on to describe the modesty learned from trialing the way those results were conveyed to the physician with a minimum viable product (MVP).

“It’s really different to tell the physician that it’s 90% probability viral or 10% probability bacterial. The behaviors are going to be completely different. We learned a lot while doing this exercise because many of our assumptions could not hold.”

From the experience, Kfir shared, “we learned a lot about how to build a product, which we couldn’t have any other way.”

Watch the discussion

Watch the panel discussion in its entirety below for more insights into how these industry leaders are designing for the user in a rapidly changing healthcare world.