Aaron Ali MD: Bridging the Health Tech Credibility Gap

dangreenfield Entrepreneur, Medical Device and Technology Summit, Vendor Credibility 0 Comments

Health Tech Vendor Credibility

Aaron Ali MDCredibility. It’s a recurring challenge for medical device startups and health tech entrepreneurs trying to prove themselves in a competitive marketplace.

Physicians and healthcare administrators rightly need to ask:

 

– Will it improve patient outcomes and the patient experience

– Will it increase productivity?

– Will there be a positive return on investment?

– If a technology is adopted, how will it be implemented?

And do you have documentation to substantiate these claims?

That is where an conversation with Aaron Ali MD – a physician, entrepreneur and consultant – is instructive.

As Dr. Ali is a board certified anesthesiologist and an active member in the Austin medical community, he understands the needs of physicians. In his role as co-founder and CEO of MedtoMarket Consulting, Dr. Ali sees firsthand the gap between the medical device industry and physicians.

MedtoMarket consulting services provide “unbiased feedback” to bridge this divide and help companies establish credibility with key stakeholders.  In the buildup to the Medical Device and Technology Summit, (co-hosted by Spectrum and the Austin Technology Council). I reached out to Dr. Ali who is on the steering committee.

Why did you get involved with the MedTechTX Summit?

Aaron Ali, MD: I believe the goals set forth by MedTechTx organizers meets many of the needs of their participants. There are many individuals and groups fighting hard to keep their companies alive in the difficult medtech world of today and getting key insider information to help your company complete the last mile is incredibly vital.

The MedTechTX Summit brings to the table real players who can give you real feedback to help entrepreneurs succeed.  I personally enjoy being a part of an organization with sharp individuals who understand the medtech landscape and how to navigate its ever changing challenges.

When taking a new product to market, where do entrepreneurs typically fail short in matching a need to a solution?

Aaron Ali MD: There three areas entrepreneurs fail in launching products:

First – creating a product that actually is needed.  Go out and vet and validate your product before spending too much money creating an advanced prototype and definitely before you go to the FDA and manufacturing.  Ask end-users and stakeholders if they would use or reimburse the product, respectively.

Second – not investing into good consulting from regulatory groups and FDA specialists. Too many groups get down the line and find out they have to go backwards to fix so many regulatory issues to get their product to market.

Third – Build the right leadership team. People over look this because they are not HR experts. Find the right C-level people to help you manage your company so you can pay attention to the product!

Where do entrepreneurs encounter the most resistance when pitching a new a device, product, or service to physicians or administrators?

Aaron Ali, MD:  Access.  Simply put, many can’t get in front of the right people because they don’t have the right connections, don’t have the right medical directors to get them that audience, and don’t know how to present to physicians and administrators because they don’t know what these stakeholders want to hear.

As a physician yourself, what runs through your mind when approached by a company about a new product or service?

Aaron Ali MD: Does it truly help patient care advance to the next level?  If not, just stop there. Don’t bring me a new device that has a new LED light on it that does the exact same thing as the previous iteration and costs 30% more.

Show me numbers on how the product will decrease a disease process or help a wound heal faster and has the economics to back it up.  If the product your trying to replace costs more than the previous product, you better have some serious data to support your value proposition.

At MedtoMarket, how do you work with companies to help them better communicate the value proposition for physicians and patients?

Aaron Ali MD: We take a 360 degree approach to helping our clients with their value proposition. We first vet and validate their idea through our M2M Physician and Nurses Network to get end-user feedback.  Then we help refine their value proposition and build a powerful network of physician/nurse champions to allow for access to smart, business minded medical providers.

With this medical board, we can then get them access to the C-Level suites of multiple different organizations who will be the stakeholders best suited to get their product to market.  In essence, we can take a product from a napkin drawing to prototype to market validation to distribution channels all through our intense program.

What kinds of materials, studies, documentation are useful for entrepreneurs to better validate their claims?

Aaron Ali MD: Any type of data to validate claims of a product are incredibly useful.  Clinical studies sometimes can be very expensive, so even small focus groups can gather enough data to write white papers about the product.  A cost analysis spreadsheet also helps in understanding the economics behind the product.  If the entrepreneur could show any documentation verifying communication with payers (BC/BS, Aetna, etc) that a reimbursement code is applicable to its product, this can make a huge difference.  All forms of smart data and documentation are always preferred.

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