High impact, high value medical innovation

A reader sent along a tip about an excellent presentation given at Harvard Medical School by Zen Chu, a venture capitalist and medical device entrepreneur. You can download the presentation from the Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology (CIMIT) blog. It’s well worth having a look.

Here are some tidbits I picked up from the document:

  • Innovation without impact is worthless: Unmet clinical needs is a cliche, translational medicine must strive to become Standard of Care
  • A very high share of med-tech innovations originate with physicians, and those inventions have a higher impact on average
  • MDs look at value creation differently from investors, who attach more value to later stages of development than do the inventors. “Innovation is spark, development drives value.”
  • Incremental innovations are very useful, but creating a whole company based on one may doom the product
  • “Time is Life” –and there are a variety of accelerants and deccelerants to be aware of

Some techniques to identify opportunities include:

  • “Productize” a procedure: turn a service into a repeatable product, e.g., from stomach stapling to lap-band
  • Remove treatment ambiguity to anticipate or create the standard of care
  • Eliminate a provider or facility to reduce costs and provide an opportunity for profit
  • Import solutions from other countries

The presentation ends with a call for a Commercialization Grand Rounds.

I’m sorry I missed the live presentation, but glad to have at least had a look at the document.

May 16, 2008

2 thoughts on “High impact, high value medical innovation”

  1. Really great find, thanks! It’s already given me an idea for a new medical device. Do you know which venture capital firm Zen Chu invests with?

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