When developing an innovation what is the importance of an existing medical practice?
There is many ways to answer an unmet medical need and innovations propose every day new solutions to provide better, faster and sometime cheaper treatment.
A number of those solution may work and may bring a benefit for patients, but when it comes to applicability of this innovation things may be different.
The higher is the need to adapt/modify existing medical practices the harder it will be to develop such new treatment. Worst situation would be a need to create a completely new medical practice around an innovative product or solution.
A scale for market access could be (from “easy” to hard or nearly “impossible”)
– Replacement of a product by an “equivalent” that would be cheaper or easier to use (e.g. a “me to” product like generics)
– Entering in an existing practice with an add-on product (use of a new product with no equivalent on market in combination in combination with existing modalities)
– Use similar products that compete on the same target with different practices
– Mix to different existing practices for a new application (e.g. MRI combine with Focused ultrasound)
– Use an existing practice differently (e.g. use an MRI for therapeutic purpose versus current utilization as diagnostic tool)
– Create a new medical practice (e.g. microwave to heat and kill cancer cell)
Of course this should be moderate with the existing and future competition/answers for an unmet medical need (e.g. if a disease has no treatment today, creation of a new medical practice could be facilitate).
That may explain why some of the technologies that works may have not been taken to market.
Why this resistance?:
– Natural resistance to change
– Harder development to show superiority over existing modalities (from a medical or economical point of view)
– Time need to evangelization of medical community
– Need for education / new route for physicians training
– Potential unbalanced of economical equilibrium between different medical specialities
This is certainly not the only aspect but when it is time to choose or invest in a technology (nanomedicine or other) this matter has to be carefully balanced with the theoretical market potential.