If your company developed a new medical device, you might find yourself in a frustrating position. The healthcare industry is known for slow adoption of new technology. Innovators face the challenge of persuading physicians, purchasing agents and other healthcare staff to invest in their product while ensuring it will improve workflow and patient care. Even though patients expect to see their physicians using new technology, less than 30 percent¹ of healthcare organizations seek change.
What is it that holds hospitals and healthcare practices back? New technology can help medical facilities grow, but complex factors prevent them from embracing innovation. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to adopting new technology is the fear of medical error. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, medical error is the third leading cause of death² in the United States, causing more than 250,000 deaths per year. A medical error most often occurs as a result of poorly coordinated care.
The fear of error is not the only hurdle medical device vendors face when trying to sell their products. Here are other common barriers to new technology adoption and ways you can overcome them.
Sometimes a healthcare team does not identify the problem a new device solves. Without recognizing a problem, staff members and leaders will not see a reason to adopt new technology. Medical device representatives need to identify the problems they are solving before offering a solution. One way to do this is to meet with the individuals who will be using the technology every day. Focus on the needs of doctors, nurses and other care team members who will use your tool to help patients or improve efficiency.
It is critical your sales pitch shows how your product solves specific problems so potential customers feel confident adopting the device. Demonstrate how your device is better than similar products on the market, what it does differently and how it is safer. The more you focus on how your device will help end users reach their goals, the higher the chance they will purchase your product.
For example, imagine you are trying to sell a medical robot which can take a patient’s vital signs. Rather than focusing on the robot’s storage capacity, for instance, demonstrate how the device solves the issue of a staff shortage instead. When you convince a committee that your product solves real problems, they will be able to envision using your product and seamlessly incorporating it into the workflow.
It is not always easy to explain a new device with words alone. Consider demonstrating your product through the use of 3D animation or medical virtual reality³ (VR), and create a memorable pitch. At Ghost Productions, we can create a custom, accurate VR experience so customers can explore your device in simulated situations. They are more likely to comprehend the capabilities of your product if they can immerse themselves in the demonstration.
A common issue within the realm of healthcare technology is valuing implementation over adoption. In other words, a hospital may prioritize the successful application of new technology rather than focus on the long-term benefits for patients. Hospitals wonder if they can implement a project by a specific deadline or if a new device falls within a budget. Clinicians might emphasize how quickly a healthcare team can learn to use a new device. All of these concerns about implementation may prevent a healthcare team from purchasing a useful device that would improve patient outcomes.
As a vendor, you can either help medical professionals recognize the value of adoption over implementation or demonstrate how easy it is to implement the new technology. A physician is greatly influential when it comes to making a purchase. Show doctors how your product increases efficiency in the long run, and demonstrate positive patient results. Focus on the quality of your device and offer ways it can be adopted in small steps. You might use medical animation to clearly demonstrate how your product functions⁴ and improves patient health. Highly detailed 3D scientific animation can also show how your device may be used in a surgical procedure, if applicable, to demonstrate implementation simply.
Either way, recognize that implementation is essential to healthcare professionals, and make sure you address their priority during your product pitch.
Physicians worry that a change in the workflow will lead to medical error and patient harm. They might fear that new technology will create inconsistencies in patient care, waste time and ultimately reduce the quality of patient care. They might also worry healthcare staff will not use a new tool properly or complete the necessary training for proper use. Many new devices require training, and staff must feel comfortable using a new tool before it reaches patients. Any change calls for a period of adjustment, and some physicians do not want to take any risks, even if a device can improve a patient’s experience.
What can vendors do to relieve a clinician’s anxiety about new technology? Remind physicians that change promotes growth, and patients expect their doctors to use the latest technology. Change is also inevitable. Reassure them that your device comes with the tools needed for easy use, and provide training that clearly explains how to use your product.
For example, at Ghost Productions, we can develop custom training apps to create interactive learning experiences⁵ for potential clients or medical staff. Multimedia training enables staff to retain what they learn and comprehend how your device is applied in real life situations. Include training demonstrations in your pitch to show how staff can learn your technology quickly and easily, and reduce the fear of error. Also, make sure to demonstrate how your product inherently reduces medical error.
For example, consider how healthcare information technology (IT) such as computerized order entry and automated dispensing cabinets reduce medical error. According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, IT systems can potentially save up to $88 billion⁶ over 10 years in associated costs in the U.S. Overall, hospitals with computerized notes, records and order entry experience fewer complications and lower mortality rates. How does your product reduce medical error, improve workflow and benefit patients? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you sell your device to healthcare decision makers.
Doctors have their hands full. They must spend a significant amount of time with paperwork and related tasks every work day. According to NEJM Journal Watch, for every hour a doctor spends with a patient, they spend nearly two hours with documentation.⁷ They also spend almost two hours after office hours completing electronic health record (EHR) work. It is not surprising that doctors may envision adding more weight to their workload when they think of new technology. New technology takes time to learn, and doctors may feel they need time more than anything else. This presents quite a challenge for sales representatives.
However, not all cases of new technology pose a workload problem for doctors. Consider iPads, for example. Healthcare practices are quickly adopting iPads. According to a study conducted by Manhattan Research, 62 percent of 3,015 physicians⁸ are using iPads. In a questionnaire, completed by 81 healthcare providers who used iPads for nine to 12 months, 85 percent of respondents reported they had used the iPad. Respondents reported they use the iPad primarily to browse the web for healthcare information. Respondents claimed the iPad was also used to provide patient education.
IPads have gained acceptance quickly and easily for many reasons, such as:
IPads demonstrate what matters most to doctors — saving time and money, boosting efficiency and improving patient care. Medical device companies can aim to understand a customer’s workflow and find ways their technology can reduce the workload for physicians and office staff. Using medical animation and interactive media, you can demonstrate to potential customers how your device offers a stress-free adoption and improves the work day for everyone in the facility.
Although many different factors influence the adoption of new technology, physicians play a crucial role in determining whether or not a healthcare facility adopts new technology. If a physician is not motivated to purchase a new device, it may not matter how other staff members feel about the device. Factors that influence a physician’s purchasing decision vary greatly. As an example, consider the case of adopting EHR. According to a brief published by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology⁹, the top reasons some physicians reported they would not adopt EHR include:
These factors prevented a few practices from using EHR because the physicians were not motivated to adopt such technology. Physicians may also feel set in their ways and hesitant to use new technology for fear it will disrupt workflow or cause patient harm. Many doctors have invested significant time and energy optimizing workflow to provide the best care possible and avoid errors. For this reason, it is understandable why they may worry new technology will erase some of their hard work.
Sales representatives should keep a physician’s motivation in mind when giving a presentation because the doctor will likely influence the purchasing decision more than other team members. Consider a physician’s primary concerns, and address each one in your sales pitch. Show how your product ensures security and privacy, simplifies workflow and improves patient care.
For example, physicians are using iPads to educate patients about their health. Without iPads, educating patients in a busy practice can be a time-consuming process and overwhelm doctors and staff. Staff members may wonder how can they can teach patients complex ideas in a simple, fast manner. IPads successfully help doctors educate patients while solving the problem of time. At Ghost Productions, we can help you find ways to demonstrate the problem-solving capabilities of your device so that doctors feel motivated to use your technology.
Purchasing new medical technology is a significant investment for a hospital or healthcare facility. Many factors affect their decision, from the practicality of a device to the financial resources available. Medical device companies encounter the challenge of selling their product to doctors and healthcare staff who have many reasons not to invest in new technology. A sales representative may feel overwhelmed facing an audience who historically resists change. Fortunately, you can approach hospital staff with confidence and the right tools. Ghost Productions is here to help.
The first step to a successful sales pitch is being able to clearly explain and demonstrate how your product works. If a group of doctors and nurses cannot envision using your device to improve workflow and patient health, it will be a lot more difficult convincing them to buy your product. At Ghost Productions, we provide custom, high-quality medical animation and interactive media so you can communicate with your audience effectively. Using extensive medical knowledge and 3D computer animation skills, our medical animators create detailed and accurate animation, illustration, software or VR to captivate potential customers, engage them in the demonstration and make an impression they will not forget.
We will work with you to create demonstrations that explain complex procedures, treatments and the workings of your device so everyone in the room can watch your innovation unfold. Whether you wish to show the benefits of your product using exciting 3D animation or give doctors a chance to use new technology hands-on in virtual reality, we have the experience and talent to help you reach your goals, rise above competitors and enjoy a successful pitch. To learn more about our services or to share a project idea, contact us today.
1. Alison Diana, “Health IT Early Mover Advantage Examined,” InformationWeek. September 16, 2014, https://www.informationweek.com/healthcare/electronic-health-records/health-it-early-mover-advantage-examined/d/d-id/1315774.
2. “Study Suggests Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S,” John Hopkins Medicine. May 3, 2016.
3. “Medical Virtual Reality,” Ghost Productions. 2018. /virtual-reality/.
4. “Medical Animation,” Ghost Productions. 2018. /animation/.
5. “Interactive Medica, Website, and Mobile Application Development,” Ghost Productions. 2018. /interactive/.
6. Abha Agrawal, “Medication Errors: Prevention Using Information Technology Systems,” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. June 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2723209/.
7. Kelly Young, “Half of Physician Time Spent on EHRs and Paperwork,” NEJM Journal Watch. September 6, 2016, https://www.jwatch.org/fw111995/2016/09/06/half-physician-time-spent-ehrs-and-paperwork.
8. Jeanette M. Daly, RN, Ph.D., Yingui Xu, M.S., and Barcey T. Levy, Ph.D., M.D., “IPad Use in Iowa Research Network Family Physician Offices,” J Prim Care Community Health. November 14, 2014. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4357531/.
9. Dawn Heisey-Grove, MPH and Vaishali Patel, Ph.D., “Physician Motivations for Adoption of Electronic Health Records,” The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. December 2014. https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/oncdatabrief-physician-ehr-adoption-motivators-2014.pdf
10. “Contact,” Ghost Productions. 2018. /contact/
Ghost Productions is an award-winning medical media production company that can help you with custom medical animation and marketing services. We offer a wide array of digital representation services that can help anyone in the medical field improve their marketing, support patient communication efforts, or even streamline staff training. Our team is highly trained and has a great understanding of biomedical processes, so they can accurately represent your device or product in a 3D medical animation, or other types of illustrations you may be interested in. Contact Ghost Productions now and tell us more about how we can help you train your surgeons, sell more medical devices, or explain your pharmaceutical product.