When you are asked: “Why should I use your medical device when the device I’m using now results in patient outcomes which seem to be adequate”, your answer should be a convincing value story (aka value proposition).
A VALUE STORY is a clear and concise statement which demonstrates the clinical and economic benefits of using your medical device, as compared to existing alternatives. It’s not a slogan or a catch phrase. It consists of the sum-total of added benefits, preferably quantifiable, your company promises an insurer, a patient, or venture capitalist will receive in return for the utilization of your product. Simply put, it’s spells out the primary reason used to convince stakeholders to buy from you and not the competition. Value in the purchase of healthcare is not different from what a buyer seeks in the purchase of any other goods or services—getting much value relative to the amount paid. To fully appreciate the differences, you need to research competitive products that they may be using. You must capture the attention of each of the key stakeholders with a compelling value story, specifically translating those product characteristics that would be understood and appreciated by each of the interested parties.
There is no one right way to go about it, but we suggest you start with the following formula. Begin with one short sentence as the attention grabber explaining the most valuable end-benefit you’re offering. Follow this with a compelling 2-3 sentence paragraph clarifying in concrete terms what you do offer, for whom and its many benefits. It can be read and understood in about 5 seconds. If they read a lot of text to understand your offering, you’re doing it wrong. In 3 bullet points, list the unique and different benefits or features differentiating your device from your competitors. Use visual images, that is, portfolios and PowerPoint presentations, which most times sinks in better than words. Always strive for clarity first – it’s easy to understand by the receiving audience. Avoid hype (like ‘you have never seen before a more miracle product’), use superlatives (‘best’) and business jargon (‘value-added product’).
Besides presenting the clinical evidence, it is most important to include convincing economic data to prove value in cost-offsets and cost-savings, as well as any quality of life improvements for patients utilizing the device. An economic study can be just as expensive as a clinical trial conducted to achieve FDA approval. However, with a little planning, it is usually possible to piggyback the economic study onto the clinical trial for only modest additional cost. Piggy-backing an economic study may add 10–25% to the clinical trial expense, while a stand-alone economic study could cost $500,000 to $1 million. Combining these factors is what ultimately drives value and hence the level of reimbursement for a device. Finally, value proposition development needs to be supported by key influencers, such as specialty societies and KOLs.
Note: Read more in an excellent article on “Creating a Value Proposition”