The Medtech Playbook for Achieving Product-Market Fit


In this playbook you’ll find insights and experiences from medical device trailblazers on how to achieve product-market fit early, so you can navigate the rest of your venture with confidence.

Key Lessons From This Playbook

  • Recognize the significance of product novelty and market potential: These are two irreplaceable factors when evaluating whether a venture is worth pursuing.
  • Trust the data: Don’t ignore your natural intuition, but look to data as a strong foundation for decision-making.
  • Empathize with your customers: Put yourself in the shoes of your end users and really try to understand what they need.
  • Pay attention to first impressions: In medtech, janky versions of your early iterations won’t cut it. A strong start is crucial for success.
  • Redefine innovation when necessary: The success of your device isn't always dependent on a new idea. You can see powerful results by adapting existing technologies to fulfill gaps in the market.

Novelty and Market Potential Define Success

Jared Bauer is a veteran at reviving medtech enterprises. He skillfully orchestrated the turnaround of struggling firms such as BurnFree Products, ApolloDx, and Cibus Biotechnologies. His current venture, IONIQ Sciences, is all about pioneering a device capable of early-stage cancer detection.

When it comes to assessing whether a struggling medtech venture is worth fighting for, Jared evaluates two aspects: product novelty and market potential. According to Jared, other issues are easy to overcome, but innovation brings valuable intellectual property rights, and the gap the product fills will likely be irreplaceable. 

In Jared's words, “If it's not novel…if there's no market...your likelihood of success is pretty low.”

Data Should Drive Your Key Decisions

With over 20 years of medtech experience, Olivier Delporte steered the helm at Miracor Medical in an effort to advance its innovative PiCSO treatment for severe myocardial infarction. 

Olivier insists on building a robust foundation of data to support decision-making and validate the product's efficacy, even if it’s necessary to run arduous, expansive, and randomized clinical trial programs. 

As a CEO, gut instincts are crucial, but they need to be complemented by reliable data.

Engage With Your Customers as Soon as Possible

Bryce Klontz, CEO of New View Surgical, brings a wealth of experience from the surgical device space. He’s a strong believer in a disciplined focus on product-market fit. 

He unequivocally states, "You might have an interesting idea, cool technology, and an alpha prototype. But does it meet the expectations of the end user, and not only the clinical user, but the economic buyer as well?" The key is to develop as deep of understanding of your customer’s needs as possible. 

In Bryce’s case, the team at New View Surgical is utilizing its long-term relationship with a group of surgeons to understand end-user perspectives in a meaningful way which presents tremendous value before their full-scale commercial launch.

First Impressions Matter

Marc Zemel, the founder and CEO of Retia Medical, has a wealth of experience in fundraising for successful startups and leading Fortune 500 companies, and understands the high bar to cross in the medtech industry. 

He believes that in the medical device arena, there isn’t room for a minimum viable product—in the Silicon Valley sense—because first impressions are everything. His philosophy entails iterating on your device thoroughly behind-the-scenes with key stakeholders before releasing it into the market.

Balance Novelty With Market Needs

Torrey Smith has taken a creative approach to finding product-market fit with his company, Endiatx. For him, innovation is not always about generating entirely new ideas but rather adapting existing therapies to meet critical needs in healthcare. 

Their flagship product, PillBot, leverages current technologies in a novel way to improve patient care in a big way. However, Torrey doesn’t hesitate in underscoring the need to strike a balance between novelty and the market gap these innovative ideas address.

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