For the third installment of our advisor spotlight, we are excited to be speaking with Aman Bhatti. Apart from his advisory role, Aman is the current VP of Global Medical Affairs & Head of BioPharma Partnerships at Alivecor where he is focused on developing revolutionary technologies to increase healthcare accessibility, predict disease onset and improve health outcomes worldwide.
Join us as we ask Aman questions from how digital health has impacted the healthcare ecosystem to what organizations should consider when taking a product from one market to another. Listen in as we dive into how different markets may require different revenue models and what innovation and advancement in digital health really has him excited. Listen in below!
Different countries have different standards of care and are supported by various healthcare schemes. Take Germany and the United States for example. In Germany, there is a statutory contribution system (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) that ensures free healthcare for all via. health insurance funds. Additionally, recent legislation has put a pathway in place for government reimbursement of digital health devices (e.g. DiGA). On the other hand, the United States has no single nationwide health insurance system and insurance is either purchased through the private marketplace or provided by the government to certain groups.
As such, an organizations go-to-market and their overall business model will likely differ across regions. For today’s podcast we dive into how startups should approach entering new markets and think through their pricing/revenue model.
Below are highlights from our conversation with Aman.
Andy: What are key considerations organizations should think through when taking a product from one market to another?
Aman: I think you need to really understand the local health care system, but what you need to understand is what’s the standard of care in each market. What are the guidelines that physicians are facing? You need to understand what’s the role of various different HCPs in those markets? For example, in the US we have PAs and NPs that have an increasing responsibility and their services that they’re offering are much more meaningful now than when you look at maybe 10 years ago. You also have to understand how consumers are different. A marketing advertisement that you make in Canada may not resonate with the US consumer and vice versa.
People think Canada and the US are very similar because both are in North America but no, culturally they are very different. It really is this multifaceted approach of understanding what’s the standard of care. What’s the role of various, HCPs in that healthcare ecosystem. Where are patients going for information first? What’s the role of the pharmacist? What role does Google search play?
For example, often people figure out what’s wrong with them differently. You have some cultures where the physician is held up on a pedestal, and then you have other markets, like the case in the US, where we rigorously fact check our physicians. I think that you need to look at it from a consumer approach. You need to meet your patients where they are, take in the cultural aspects and do some consumer segmentation work to truly understand your consumers. What are the competitors in the market? Why is one product preferred over another What is the environment? Is it a patient pay model?
I think some companies make the mistake of just saying that if our product is successful in one market, it must be successful in another country or market and that is absolutely not true. Physicians are very different. Patients are different. And the healthcare ecosystems are very different. It really is a multifaceted.
Andy: Now, once you’ve decided which market to hone into, how does an organization go about developing their revenue model?
Aman: I think once you hone in on the market you’re trying to go into and you figure out, what’s the healthcare landscape look like that should really help drive the decision making process. If the healthcare landscape is a socialized medicine environment, B2C may be limited. It is not to say that people won’t pay out of pocket, but you will have a lot of people saying “Why am I paying for this?”
If you are going B2C in a market that offers free healthcare, ask yourself is the output of my device (e.g. app, service, or tool, etc.) relevant more to a consumer or more to a physician? Who’s overseeing the patient care? If it’s to a consumer, what other services can I offer to the consumer that can make this more valuable to them. Am I offering something that is going to be antithetical to physicians? in a sense that they may look at you being alien alienating? So I think you really need to ask yourself, is my product really a consumer product?
If you’re walking into a model or an environment where there is a patient pay model or a private health care model like in the US, then I think you need to ask yourself, is the output of my device more valuable to a patient so that a patient can make their own decisions or is the output of my device something that’s actually going to help and improve physician capabilities. Things like potentially improving outcomes, or potentially saving money to the health care system. If that’s the case, then you might want to go the B2B model or direct to physician model. I think that you need to really understand what is the benefit of your product and service. Is it going to help patients to really drive their own decisions? Or is it going to be helpful to physicians to help drive decisions that they make on patient care.
Andy: For our last question, how can digitization throughout the healthcare ecosystem prepare us for the future? What innovation and/or advancement do you look forward to most?
Aman: Everybody’s talking about the meta-verse these days and I think that one of the things is, how can we innovate in the meta-verse? And honestly, I have no idea. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what can be done, but I think that that is something very interesting to me. For the most part. It really is trying to figure out how can the experience of being in the meta-verse help improve mood disorders and depression, anxiety, etc.
Mental health is probably the first thing that comes to mind, but beyond that, what else can we do? What else can we offer? I think that will be very interesting space to see how can the meta-verse be used in clinical research or data from the meta-verse be used in informing healthcare.
Outside the meta-verse, I really think what I’d like to see more of are all these connected health platforms. I can’t wait to see what the output is, and I know Orbit is working on this as well, of organizations trying to capture multi-sensors into one dashboard. Truth be told, I think that multi-sensor dashboard shouldn’t just be for that specific physician type.
For example if I’m a rheumatologist, I would love to see your movement, but it also would be good to see your blood pressure, your cardiovascular health, your blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, etc. to really get a more holistic lens of who you are. I really wonder, can all these multi-sensor products be utilized across the healthcare ecosystem to improve care? So I think those two things; I think multi-sensor dashboards as well as the metaverse are going to be fantastic to kind of keep an eye on.