Essentials of entrepreneurship

Hello!

We are back at our Moebio blog and ready to start the first edition of Design Health Barcelona next Friday (check out our agenda for event details)!

They are exciting times for us… and for our fellows! From September 2013 to May 2014, all of them, young talented men and women, will receive the necessary knowledge to identify unmet clinical needs and design and develop innovative solutions… in one form or another. At the end of the program, some of the fellows will found their own start-up, some will join already existing companies… Whatever the situation, being an entrepreneur, an innovator, as amazing as it is, it is not an easy task. It requires both hard work and a big dose of realism. And this is our first post after summer about.

There are plenty of ideas and opinions about how best to focus an organization’s resources and efforts for success. Some years ago, management guru Peter Drucker wrote an intriguing little book titled The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization. In just under 100 pages, Drucker tells everything a person will never need to know about where to focus his/her organization and how to do it. The 5 crucial questions Drucker poses are:

–       What is your business’ reason to be?

–       Who is your customer?

–       What does your customer value?

–       What are your results?

–       What is your plan?

Taken together, Peter Drucker’s five questions are powerful. Try answering them (and, if curious, read Drucker’s answers to them here) and you will get a clear roadmap right to the heart of what makes a business successful.

If you have 12 minutes more we encourage you to watch also Mark Suster’s (an American entrepreneur, angel investor and investment partner at GRP Partners and also a prominent blogger) TechCrunch interview about… failure. Yes, no one likes to fail but failure is part of the process of being an entrepreneur… Failure is ok. It’s not the same as losing or being a loser. It’s a set back. In fact, great entrepreneurs such as Steve Blank and Richard Branson have made millions from failure.

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In the video Suster explains his “classic, first-time stupid mistakes” and how it uses this knowledge as a warning signal of which teams to avoid funding and to coach first-time founders or university students who want to pursue entrepreneurship.

Engineering, a mirror for med-tech innovation

Medical devices play an important role in enhancing patients’ quality of life and supporting the healthcare system, but there is a need for improved methodology to obtain evidence for their safety, performance and efficacy.

According to the report Establishing high-level evidence for the safety and efficacy of medical devices and systems from the UK Royal Academy of Engineering, med-tech innovation could learn from engineering how to do so. One of the guidelines outlined in the report, produced following a roundtable discussion featuring clinicians and engineers, is the requirement to develop devices that meet real clinical needs. Clinicians, device manufacturers and the ‘end user’ should work together to identify which devices need to be developed to meet patient’s needs.

The recommendation is in line with Design Health Barcelona program, which places the hospital at the core of the innovation process. The three teams of fellows will experience at the very beginning an eight-weeks long clinical immersion to identify unsolved problems and to later develop innovative solutions to address them.

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Other transferable lessons mentioned in the report are:

1.The use of continuous monitoring of systems in use to improve design and reduce the risk to fail.

2. The use of observational studies where randomized controlled trials are not possible or appropriate because they can deliver valuable information about how technologies function in real-world settings.

3. The establishment of a regulatory framework that specifies the different levels of evidence required to ensure safety, performance and efficacy at different stages throughout the life and iterations of the medical device.

4. The establishment of a prescriptive, yet responsive, regulatory framework to ensure the withdrawal of faulty products from the market as quickly as possible.

5.To promote the integration and contribution of a more diverse range of stakeholders -patients, engineers, manufacturers, healthcare professionals and economists- in the design of medical devices.

If you want to read the full report, it is available here.