Live blogging from the Qual360 conference in Toronto, Canada. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.
Global Transformation in Medical Technology VOC
Brian Bechard, Global Innovation Specialist, Medtronic
- 80% of people do not have access to the top notch health care that many of us in North America expect as common service
- Traditionally, customers of medical products have been groups of doctors, physicians who are well compensated for their work. Sometimes, they can let doctors do real simulations with products in laboratory settings, the hospital administrator, the distributor, anyone who gets the medical devices to the users
- Now, maybe our customer is the patient, the three year who has no clue what is going on
- Did a project in India for three weeks to work on hearing screening of people in rural or economic disadvantages communities
- Device was a phone with an attachment to take a picture of the ear and send it to a hospital in another country for diagnostics. No need to travel to a hospital from the beginning. Diagnosed many issues and decided which ones need to be referred to a hospital.
- Who are the stakeholders – Patients, community health workers who go door to door doing the screening, family members who get the person to the hospital, superintendent of the hospital who restricts or allows access, clinic physicians to make referrals, community leaders who know the neighbourhoods and slums, hospital workers who know pregnancy birthing issues, nurses
- Interview – lots of being present as opposed to recording questions and answers, a lot came through translators, community health workers would probe people for why they aren’t using their hearing devices and could sometimes make a quick tweak of a device to get it working,
- Environment – Making business happen was very difficult, language barriers, people didn’t have easy access to water, it could be 25 people living in one tiny room or people living in tin roof canvas wall buildings, they have very few belongings but they have a TV and maybe a mobile device, they may not be able to go online and learning about hearing loss but they are aware of what’s going on in the world, there are male and female lines at the doctors, there may be four people on a motorcyle so think about how and who can get to the hospital, not allowed to determine the sex of a baby because some people may abort a female baby (so cannot let people see the ultrasound screen)
- Key insights – people might get a partial dose of antibiotics because they wouldn’t finish the course if they didn’t work after a couple days, people might not go to the doctor for a slight pain because it would disrupt the household to find a ride, they may not trust what the doctor says, people were fascinated by a picture of their inner ear and this was a big draw to them, a cab ride to the doctor is the equivalent of a daily wage and no food for their family, it was disappointing for patients to find out their problem would not be solved on that day, infants weren’t being treated at all and so were missing vital growth opportunities regarding language and communication, need to hear is changing as families are in different cities and would need to talk on the phone, people with hearing ads are viewed as lower class or foolish or less than human
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