“The economics of venture require companies to go big, and the time for that shift in healthcare is now. […] Companies that aren’t building tools to increase patient engagement, education, usability and scale will fall behind. This is true even in diagnostics and therapeutics.” — Rachel Fisher, Three Predictions for Healthcare Platforms, Forbes, Sep 2020
A crisis is often needed to trigger change and set aside the status quo. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged the in vitro diagnostic (IVD) business to quickly scale a novel assay and get closer to the point of use in airports, schools, workspaces, and more. Point of Care (POC) diagnostics present a unique opportunity in the decentralization of healthcare — especially now when emerging technologies enable novel solutions.
To win the attention of investors and get traction in the market, developers must deliver a platform that is differentiated. It needs to be optimized for a more distributed POC environment and provide a broad range of assays with results that are highly actionable. At the same time, it’s important to move quickly as time to market is critical.
Executing on this strategy requires resolving the complexity that comes with designing a truly differentiated POC platform. At Invetech, we believe there are 3 critical elements that need to be considered to get it done:
1. Deliver a great user experience
Usability is an important differentiator for any product, potentially giving it greater reach in the marketplace. With 50% of internet content being consumed on a mobile device, it should be no surprise that the user experience for POC applications, including device connectivity, is critical.
Another situational shift is becoming apparent when looking at some of the new players in the healthcare economy. Few think of Apple as a medical device company, but their recent 510(k) clearance confirms that it’s not only startups exploring opportunities in near-patient health management.
New technologies including cloud computing, miniaturized imaging, machine learning, artificial intelligence, CRISPR, and more are enabling incredible new solutions for complex assays that were, until recently, locked up in expensive instrumentation. Developers should be assessing how their product strategy may benefit from new technologies to improve efficiencies and realize competitive advantage through differentiation.
3. Minimize total cost of ownership
Whereas central labs have the volume to build out the infrastructure and work with IVD vendors to support large IVD instruments, the POC utilization presents quite a different value proposition.
In a post-COVID world, healthcare will continue to evolve to a near-patient model enabled by a globally accessible data infrastructure and novel diagnostic technologies. Many POC opportunities will arise and delivering the right solution requires a different mindset from traditional lab solutions.
For those looking to create new POC offerings:
Fundamental differentiation will be key to garnering up-front investments and long-term market traction.
Understanding the end-user experience and optimizing the full product lifecycle are critical to ensuring your POC platform is a success.
Partnering with one team from design to manufacturing will ensure opportunities uncovered in initial design stages are carried through to the final product– all while reducing design transfer risk and minimizing total cost of ownership.
In our new Design Guide, we dive into each of these elements in greater detail to help you break out of the commodity POC assay space and create new, differentiated solutions for near-patient care.
Design Guide for Creating a Differentiated Point of Care Diagnostics Platform
Discover practical strategies for bringing unique, profitable POC platforms to market. Download the full guide.
Christian is the Global Director, Engineering leading the hardware, software, systems and usability teams at Invetech. Over the last 25 years, he’s held leadership positions at Roche, Novartis, Nanomix and Nanogen where he was involved in the commercialization of several novel products now helping patients in cancer diagnosis, hospital acquired infections and transfusion medicine. He has a master’s degree in System Sciences and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UCLA.