In no particular order, these are ten things I would do if I were in charge of strategy for a spinal implant company with unlimited resources:
1) I would find a way to partner with a robotics company. Robotics are here to stay, and will change the way spine surgeries are performed.
2) I would prioritize innovation. NuVasive’s success in relatively short time is an important lesson in spine care; there is no replacement for innovations that provide real world solutions.
3) I would attempt to take risks and establish unlikely synergies. Cell based regenerative therapies have the potential to form incredibly effective partnerships with medical devices.
4) I would ramp up investment in economic studies. Effectiveness studies will always be important, but economic merit is increasingly important in hospital purchasing; this can’t be ignored.
5) I would keep my ears low to the ground. In five years of doing market research including custom research and speaking to orthopedic surgeons, I’ve never heard a surgeon incorrectly predict the likely success of a device category. The surgeon community is remarkably accurate in assessing new technology.
6) I would try to understand market access. Global market access is extremely variable, and opportunities hide in obscure places.
7) I would adopt a win-win mentality. Small market segment perception is not always governed by the success of an individual brand, but by all devices in that small market segment. It is therefore important to understand that if competitors do well, it can be a good thing.
8) I would focus on unmet needs. For instance; it goes without saying that anatomically specific solutions using 3D printing platforms have some potential.
9) I would pay attention to site of service. More outpatient procedures point towards the need for minimally invasive solutions in my portfolio.
10) I would, after I’ve done all the above, ask for a promotion.