22 Teams Put Their Biomedical Innovation Ideas to the Test

This past January and February our first group of 22 teams brought their creativity and determination to the first WE-REACH Biomedical Innovation Bootcamp. Now that we are gearing up to run another bootcamp coming up in June and July, we wanted to share more information about the experience. One change we will make is to run the bootcamp virtually due to the pandemic environment, but we don’t expect that to keep attendees from having great interactions with speakers, mentors, and other innovation teams.

In the first bootcamp students and faculty brought their own innovative concepts to the table, ranging from ideas for medical devices and therapeutics to platforms for better care coordination of patients suffering from complex diseases. While the ideas targeted different aspects of healthcare, the process for testing those ideas to see if they have realistic chances at being adopted was the same regardless of the innovation. The key is to learn as much as possible from your potential customers early-on, even before you have a prototype. Getting out and talking to people was universally emphasized as being the essential “secret” to boosting your chances of success.

The bootcamp met for two hours per week over five weeks and culminated in final presentations of teams’ business models using the Lean Canvas. Four different panels of experts shared their experiences and advice over the course of the five-session bootcamp. Topics covered were customer discovery, competitive analysis, regulatory requirements, legal issues, and funding sources. If audience members didn’t know it before, they certainly learned that innovating in healthcare is complicated! The bootcamp provided a structured introduction to different aspects of innovations that need to be considered, connections to mentors who could help them delve deeply into their assumptions about their potential customer base and help them switch focus areas when their initial assumptions proved invalid.

Attendees learned that a having a good idea or impressive invention is one thing but figuring out how it fits into the workflow of healthcare or proving it leads to significant cost savings is another thing. Unlike other markets, such as consumer products, testing and clinical evidence are essential to getting anywhere in healthcare. Doctors and other clinicians are very cautious with their patients so are unlikely to use new products without a lot of evidence behind them. Not only that, health insurers cannot justify payment for new products or services unless they also see evidence. A key learning was that it can be tricky to gain adoption with all these players involved.

If you have an idea you think would improve treatment for patients, help providers better coordinate care, or allow health systems to lower risks join the next WE-REACH Biomedical Innovation Bootcamp and learn how bring it forward. Healthcare needs new ideas, why not yours?

Check for dates next bootcamp >>>