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What Consumers Want to See in Medical Products

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What Consumers Want to See in Medical Products
A new survey reveals what traits will get consumers to shell out for a new medical product. Hint—the ability to use it at home is a big draw.

Marie Thibault

A new Harris Poll survey finds that over 75% of surveyed U.S. adults would buy home-use medical products, and there are a few other product characteristics that would encourage purchase, including the ability to lower healthcare costs and manage chronic health problems. The survey, conducted for Nottingham Spirk, gives industry a better understanding of what might attract customers to a product.

Nottingham Spirk is a business innovation firm in Cleveland that was behind the creation of the HealthSpot Stations in Rite Aid pharmacies and the Medtronic CardioInsight ECVUE Sensor Array vest. The company has expanded its medical innovation arm, InnovateMD, and is focused on helping clients design devices intended for consumer use. 

In October, 2009 U.S. adults were surveyed on their medical product purchasing decisions, according to a press release. The results showed that for 44% of adults, having the ability to take care of chronic health conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and hypertension using a medical product would cause them to buy it. Being able to better control their health and factors influencing their health is appealing to more than half of the survey respondents too. 

This echoes what Kevin Young, senior vice president of product experience at global innovation design consultancy Continuum wrote about earlier this year for MD+DI—consumermed devices for use at home need to fit invisibly into users' lives and help them take better care of themselves by connecting them to a larger information and health environment.  

Vikki Nowak, vice president of Nottingham Spirk, said in the press release, "Consumers are excited to be able to monitor and modify their own health behaviors. Providing them with the tools they need for use at home gives them the means to own their health destinies."

While a PricewaterhouseCooper report earlier this year showed that the growth rate of healthcare costs is expected to slow, the year-over-year increase is still expected to be well above inflation, at 6.5% in 2016. In light of this, it's no wonder that more than 40% of the adults surveyed would buy a home-use medical product to cut their healthcare costs overall. A majority (54%) of the younger adults surveyed, 18-34 years old, and 52% of parents with kids under 18 years of age said they'd buy such a cost-saving product. 

John Nottingham, copresident of Nottingham Spirk, pointed out in the press release that IHS analysts expect the global consumermed device market to top $10 billion by 2017. 

Check out the future of medical technology—register for the BIOMEDevice San Jose Conference, December 2-3, 2015.

Marie Thibault is the associate editor at MD+DI. Reach her at marie.thibault@ubm.com and on Twitter @medtechmarie

[Image courtesy of STUART MILES/FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET]

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