A startup company developed a novel coronary intervention technology designed to make it easier for physicians to perform complex procedures. The startup team believed their medical technology had the potential to become a standard of care for certain conditions if they could define a compelling value proposition. They also needed a go-to-market strategy to maintain its differentiation from other types of products used to treat similar — but different — conditions. In the United States, no such technology had ever been approved to date. In Europe, similar technologies had made it to market, but failed to garner wide adoption.
Without such a technology, highly skilled physicians leveraged customized treatment methods as needed. However, this type of procedure was outside the skillset of the average interventionalist. Additionally, many physicians questioned the need for treatment and left the condition untreated.
The startup enlisted Guidehouse Inc. to evaluate the technology’s achievable market potential and commercial strategy. Comprehensive research and analysis revealed two critical findings. First, the coronary intervention market as a whole was significantly smaller than the startup — or industry analysts and pundits, including global original equipment manufacturers — had publicly and consistently estimated.
Second, while research showed about 23% of cases likely involved the specific condition the technology could address, only about 13% of providers were proactively documenting and treating it. This meant another significant barrier existed for the technology to overcome: getting physicians to recognize the potential medical issue and prioritize treatment.
While disappointed to learn the technology faced several critical barriers to adoption, the startup team preferred having time to shift gears and manage stakeholder expectations — both internally and externally. They invested in clinical studies to strengthen their case. They also adopted Guidehouse’s proposed commercial strategy to position the technology more precisely within the overall market.