Health + Wellness Product Management

“Medical care is largely shaped by guidelines, which are indexed to a population rather than an individual. And the evidence from clinical research is derived from populations that do not translate to the real world of persons. The life science industry has no motivation to design drugs or devices that are only effective, however striking, for a small, well-defined segment of the population. At the same time, the regulatory agencies are entirely risk-averse and, as a result, are suppressing remarkable innovative and even frugal opportunities to change medicine. The end result is that most of our screening tests and treatments are overused and applied in the wrong individuals, promoting vast waste. And virtually nothing is being done to accelerate true prevention of disease.” Eric Topol, The Creative Destruction of Medicine

Market Need + Human Need

Healthcare is a top concern for many Americans. As a country, we have huge gaps between what we know, what we do, and how we act. As a Digital Product Manager focused on the health + wellness industry, the gaps equate to a plethora of opportunities. People need better access to their own health information. Healthcare providers would benefit from a complete picture of the individual. Insurance providers could use real-time individual information to provide preventative interventions. The list of benefits goes on and on…

3 Ways Product Management Can Help

“Finally, it’s all about solving problems, not implementing features. Conventional product roadmaps are all about output. Strong teams know it’s not only about implementing a solution. They must ensure that solution solves the underlying problem. It’s about business results.” Marty Cagan, Inspired

Deep Understanding of the Customer: the PM is an acknowledged expert on the customer: their issues, pains, desires, how they think— and for business products, how they work, and how they decide to buy. Without this deep customer knowledge, you’re just guessing.

Healthcare often uses data gathered from populations rather than individuals, Product Management can help offer a deeper perspective that brings more value.

Data-Driven Decision Making: Product managers use data to make an informed and effective decision.They deliver value to the business and the customer by doing experiments, test, and improvement based upon user data. It gives clear visibility about how users are interacting and behaving as well as unbiased key insights for the future directions.

Whole Picture, Strategic Thinking: The vision needs to be clear and comprehensive. Healthcare organizations lack interdisciplinary leadership.

Product Management looks at the user, business, technology, industry and market to solve problems, not just deliver features.

Of course, this is just the beginning. As we move through the Digital Revolution, health and wellness companies need this discipline to survive and thrive in the coming era. Eric Topol, author of The Creative Destruction of Medicine, says it best:

“Medicine is remarkably conservative to the point of being properly characterized as sclerotic, even ossified. Beyond the reluctance and resistance of physicians to change, the life science industry (companies that develop and commercialize drugs, devices, or diagnostic tests) and government regulatory agencies are in a near paralyzed state, unable to break out of a broken model of how their products are developed or commercially approved. We need a jailbreak. We live in a time of economic crisis because of the relentless and exponentially escalating costs of health care, but we’ve done virtually nothing to embrace or leverage the phenomenal progress of the digital era. That is about to change. Medicine is about to go through its biggest shakeup in history.”