Today was week 2 of my Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program at Cicada Innovations. It struck me that there is so much we don’t realise about the business models of the giant companies all around us; for instance, that Google’s product is you and me, that Skype’s business model as a freemium service is to obtain revenue from only 10% of its users, and ResMed is now rapidly becoming a software company.
These lessons have taught me that while revenue can be generated in surprising ways, what is critical is to provide value to people. In medicine, technological advances will be able to provide value in disruptive and complex ways that we are yet to fully imagine. 3D printing, tissue engineering, machine learning and implantable electronics are ready to be employed TODAY in numerous medical fields, yet there are remarkably few examples of successful clinical translation.
We need medical innovators and entrepreneurs to focus on solving the difficult problems, and maximising value for those most in need, rather than creating devices that make incremental improvements purely to increase revenue streams.
We don’t need a better car tyre, we need a hovercraft!