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Dennis Lendrem
Dennis Lendrem
Making Data Make Sense
Posted in Business / Industries / Pharmaceuticals

Technology Rarely Fails for Technical Reasons

Mar. 18, 2017 3:36 am

I was at a one-day meeting on "The Development Pathway for New Medical Technologies" hosted by the NIHR Diagnostic Evaluation Co-operative at Newcastle University.

One of the exercises was to map "Real-World" experiences to the development pathway.

And, once again, the group traced the root cause of failures in the development life cycle for new medical devices to misconceptions at the START of the development pathway.

The technology rarely fails for technical reasons.

Instead most new technologies fail because they meet a need that does not exist, based on a patient pathway that does not exist, delivering uncertain benefits, without thought of the adoption pathway, at a price that nobody will pay.

"The device doesn't work" is rarely the reason for failure.

And this is odd. Because we can start to address most of these issues from project inception. Before development becomes very expensive, Ahead of the clinical trials.

Despite reviews by funders, despite due diligence reviews by venture capitalists, it is amazing how far along the development pathway a device can travel before it is finally canned. Optimism bias and a charismatic champion can take a failing product a long way.

Technology fails for business reasons - not technical reasons.

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