After spending thousands of dollars to develop, test, and approve a product, medtechs tend to focus their commercialization strategies on the whole patient pool, thinking it’s the best bet for significant return on investment. While that approach seems logical, it rarely manifests in practice. The average medical technology takes 10-15 years to be broadly adopted — after being published as a standard of care in practice guidelines. Most technologies falter long before then.
So, what is the best path to market penetration? Ironically, it’s usually a narrow one. Segmenting patients, providing physicians with guidance on which ones your technology suits best, and clearly stating expected outcomes helps to drive use, preference, and — eventually — increased adoption rates. It also helps you align your resources and investments realistically to foster adoption.
Consider this example: a startup originally estimated the market size for its breakthrough technology to treat uterine fibroids at 75 percent of all women. But, further research revealed that figure to be significantly inflated and vague, as it failed to consider several critical factors. In fact, the most compelling opportunity lay in the large pool of insured U.S. women who regularly sought preventive ob-gyn care — 24 percent of the addressable population, representing $428 million in annual revenue by 2028. This insight was based on patients’ condition severity, desire for fertility, fibroid location, provider access, and payer coverage, as well as the company’s modest sales infrastructure.
Had the manufacturer launched broadly, they risked weak clinical outcomes, reduced physician confidence in the technology, and failing investor expectations.