Art gifts

4 lessons Medtech innovators can learn from art masters

By Thomas Hickey, Excelerant Consulting

Depending on your point of view, the great French painter Paul Cézanne was either an extreme perfectionist … or a severe OCD. Cézanne, you see, insisted that the subjects of his portraits less 100 sessions. Or they could move on and find someone else with brushes to do the job.

The slightly tortured Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh possessed such a relentless pursuit of perfection that he went mad about it. He began to hallucinate and, in the middle of one of his blackout episodes, he cut off part of his left ear. He later remembered nothing about the self-harm.

Another Dutch master, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (or more popularly and simply, “Rembrandt”), was such an eye for detail, quality and perfection that his character survives more than 350 years after his death and serves as a universal gold standard. all sorts. There are Rembrandt restaurants, Rembrandt hotels, Rembrandt toothpaste and even pop music (The Rembrandts wrote and recorded I’ll be there for you, theme song from the hit TV series Friends).

Right now, you’re probably scratching your head and wondering why I am invoking some of the world’s greatest artists in an article targeting medical tech professionals. Stay with me: you and your business are on the brink of greatness. You have a masterpiece in the making in the form of a medtech innovation. As far as you are concerned, this is a must-see world changer. But before you get ahead of yourself, slow down and take inspiration from Rembrandt, Paul, and Vinny. We can learn a lot from the best of the best in the art world.

Here are four lessons to master from Masters if you want to get from here to where you want to be.

1. Make sure your innovation is “a pleasurable whole”

Think of your innovation as a mosaic. Critics like this often dismiss mosaics as a mishmash of pieces and pieces, color and chaos. Others appreciate and appreciate the subtle fusion of hues, mediums, textures and placement, all brought together to create a pleasing whole. A tedious and thoughtful process and the sum of the parts can result in something extraordinary.

Or not.

It is your responsibility to achieve the latter and avoid the former. And you do it by going through every step carefully, considering the smallest details, tweaking and refining, and gathering feedback and perspectives from everyone who appreciates such things. Bring everyone who matters into the discussion as many times as necessary to make sure you are on your way to a true masterpiece.

In medical technology, smart innovators are proactive and reach out to all stakeholders in advance to increase their chances of being successful in the market. They also confidently and intimately know the benefits of the product while recognizing potential pitfalls such as the challenges of transitioning to a new technology, the impact of a new device on the existing workflow, as it fits. in the business model of the hospital or hospital system, and, of course, the impact it promises as measured by quantifiable data of positive patient outcomes. And by the way, if your innovation is truly a blockbuster, policymakers are willing to allow small changes in the workflow if the positive patient outcomes outweigh the challenges.

2. Even the masters of art did not go alone

In Gurus MedTech Podcast #55 Episode # 55 With Dr John Kim, I chat with the emergency room and hospital doctor in the San Francisco area, Dr John Kim, who is also a partner at Aphelion Capital, a venture capital firm.

Much like art masters, Dr Kim says medical technology companies need to be proactive and approach potential investors from the early stages of their development. In Aphelion’s case, Dr Kim says he and his partners like to hear from contractors as soon as possible, often before FDA clearance. While investors may not yet be ready to pull out their checkbooks, they to do want to see evidence that the medical technology company is filling all the colors and shapes of this mosaic – in this case, the innovative new medical device – and the art form is clearly taking shape. It also gives Aphelion the opportunity to make a constructive contribution.

There are always certain benchmarks and process points throughout the innovator’s development journey. Know that potential investors will watch and as the art form comes together (and there is some evidence that you actually care about their contribution), they will know you are on the right track and write this down. big check you need to move your device closer to the healthcare market.

3. “Sketch” first – and it takes time

There are infinitely more discarded canvases than canvases hung on the walls of an art gallery. This speaks to the imperfect nature of human trial and error. A masterpiece cannot be created overnight or in one sitting. A masterpiece cannot be created in a vacuum devoid of comprehensive thinking and deep introspection.

Dr Kim recalled a situation from a few years ago in which he and his Aphelion partners invested in promising new medical technology. This was a device intended for use in long-term care facilities requiring a Wi-Fi connection. No big deal, right? Wi-Fi is everywhere.

Not really. You see, the company that developed and tested the product locally was headquartered in Silicon Valley, where even your morning cup of coffee probably has a solid Wi-Fi connection. What investors didn’t realize, is that many parts of the country are not so fortunate in wireless Internet coverage, and a large percentage of installations have been automatically eliminated from the sales mix.

A little more depth, breadth and discovery in the product development phase would likely have revealed this barrier to success. Remember, even masters of art first sketched before painting, assembling or sculpting. They have spent a considerable amount of time (sometimes years!) Designing, developing and completing a masterpiece. It is much easier to take the time to fix problems up front than it is to have to go back and “unscrew” them. In construction, it is the “measure twice, cut once” truism.

4. Don’t let detractors bring you down

No work of art is universally loved and adopted. The same goes for medtech innovations. There will always be some degree of resistance and a fair share of detractors as well. Get used to it. And take heart; you can compensate for that.

The most likely medical technology innovators to be successful are those who clearly understand how difficult change can be for clinicians, hospital administrators and others. Most likely, the bulk of the reluctance will come from physicians who are fairly comfortable with their current routines. They just don’t want to change because, for a while at least, change is disruptive and uncomfortable. Be prepared for it. And make sure the benefits of your product are so compelling, so quantifiable with hard data, and so worthy of a change in practice that it’s just too amazing to pass up. It means to have a certain Wow! factor much like a work of art that stops you dead in your tracks.

In summary, you and your business have a masterpiece in the works – that unmissable world change I mentioned earlier. But be careful when selecting and assembling the different pieces of the mosaic. Make sure that your work is “an enjoyable whole”.

Connect early with potential ‘art buyers’ (in your case, investors) to receive their advice and knowledge as a gift, and later, hopefully, to receive the all-important check you need. bring your medtech innovation closer to the market.

Finally, understand that there will be detractors, just like there are chronically cranky art critics. Accept that and please those you need the most on your side. And sketch, sketch, sketch. Tinker, tinker, tinker. Think carefully and consider all angles and perspectives before you embark on the path to great success.

It can make the difference between your hanging masterpiece The Louvre … Or be attached by a magnet to a refrigerator door.

About the Author:

Thomas Hickey is a senior consultant at Excelerant Consulting as well as the host of Med Tech Gurus, a podcast focused on medical entrepreneurship and marketing (available on Apple podcasts and other platforms). He develops innovative strategies and tactics and has a deep understanding of sales strategy and sales channels. With over 35 years of medical device industry experience and leadership level experience with manufacturers and group purchasing organizations, Hickey is qualified to assess launches, start-ups, international distribution , technology and market feasibility. He has successfully launched several products and has hired, coached and trained hundreds of independent sales team members and distributors. He can be contacted at [email protected]