Investing in innovation: meeting the needs of the public sector


In any sector, proving that your business’ product or service is worth investing in when everyone else is trying to get noticed can be a challenging endeavour.

This is especially the case for med-tech firms that are aiming to market new healthcare innovations to NHS decision-makers who are more reluctant than ever to spend money, or secure backing from investors who know the industry inside and out.

Listen to the woes of your industry

Throughout the process of creating a new product, you need to put the purpose of the product at the forefront rather than reflect on how impressive it is.

Ask yourself what issues are you trying to combat with this product? In healthcare for example, how can it revolutionise patient care, or maximise efficiency and change the way healthcare professionals use technology for the better? Finding that crucial gap in the market and focusing on it will help your business progress.

Don’t just focus on the product

The demise of many start-up businesses is often down to their passion overshadowing their business sense. You can have the most innovative idea that larger competitors haven’t thought of yet, inject lots of money, time and effort into it and feel proud knowing you have created something ground-breaking. But if it’s financially unsuitable for a public sector audience, meaning they will have to wait a long time to see a return on investment, it simply won’t take off.

You need a strong team that can provide the best of both worlds: the technical vision as well as the consumer insight and financial know-how.

Take all feedback on board

For most businesses looking to secure investment from the public sector, consumer insight is incredibly useful and market research should never be ignored, whether it be through trials, focus groups or surveys. It can help you make sure your product is heading in the right direction and meets the needs of the people you’re targeting.

The med-tech industry, for example, can be costly, often requiring significant funding and support from investors. Paying attention to any feedback through a consumer insight exercise is a must to ensure you’re not wasting your money developing a product that doesn’t meet the NHS’ requirements.

Our device is currently at clinical trials across four major UK hospitals with some of the busiest A&E departments in Bristol, Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield. Every bit of feedback we are getting, not just from NHS staff but also from chest pain patients, is being treated with the upmost importance and could influence any future developments.

For any fledgling business, starting out is never easy – and as any business owner knows, there are many risks associated with trying to build an established reputation. If new enterprises want to succeed in getting their ideas from concept to market, impressing potential investors and making a real difference, they need to find that fine balance between innovation and cost-effectiveness.

If you can demonstrate that your project will have significant positive impact as well as ensuring that you have robust USP’s to provide a product or service that will make a difference, then you’ll truly start to stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Steve Parker, CEO of Creavo Medical Technologies