by Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed.
In the words of the immortal Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
And in business, in order to know where you are going, a plan of action informed by up-to-the-minute information is vital.
A new software, MedTechIntel (MTI), offers a relational roadmap with the latest actionable intelligence on the interplay between surgeon networks, backgrounds, hospital affiliations, and relevant historical issues of interest. MTI opens up a world of connections and opportunities for manufacturers, distributors and sales reps who know the value of meaningful, leverageable data.
Kevin Hoskins, Director of Product Development for MTI, says, “For the orthopedic industry, MTI represents a first step into the 21st century. Until now, those in the orthopedic field have had to manage contacts on spreadsheets, CRM platforms that provide the how, but not the what. The aggregation of timely data provided by MTI offers the orthopedic world a high-level software-based sales targeting tool…for the first time ever.”
Rossana Williams, Vice President of Market Access, states, “I think one of the best features of the MTI platform is its extraordinary convenience. Rather than having to access multiple sites to obtain relevant information, MTI offers it all in one place.”
And it is indeed a wealth of information.
“At present,” says Williams, “the platform includes roughly 41,000 surgeons, nearly 8,000 hospitals, over 1,000 GPOs/IDNs, and approximately 3,600 distributors.”
Step back during a setback…
As to why such a useful tool has not previously been explored, Kevin Hoskins notes, “Traditionally, surgeons are cautious about how they interact with new companies, a tendency that has extended to the industry as a whole. With the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have had more time to step back and reflect on the modernization of their sales cycles in a meaningful way.”
They are asking, says Hoskins, “What tools are available to allow us to streamline how we understand how surgeons interact with their facilities, peers and sales representatives?”
MTI is helping to answer that clarion call with a software that helps sales reps, manufacturers and distributors expedite their business in the modern world.
Benefits to distributors, sales reps:
“The MTI team is quite seasoned in the orthopedic realm and is accustomed to extracting reliable data that yields actionable leverage points,” states Hoskins. “We are able to dig deep and map out the difficult-to-obtain relationships that can mean the difference between going in the right direction and heading off in the wilderness of lost opportunities. Surgeon/distributor relationships are difficult to establish, but our team has numerous existing relationships that give distributors a leg up on the competition.”
Distributors and reps will benefit from:
- Facility profiles (financial metrics, IDN/GPO affiliations, clinical metrics, surgeons with operating privileges, demographics, accreditations, key contacts of the hospital administration, supply chain and materials management contacts, and much more)
- Surgeon profiles (education and training history, procedural focus, nearby distributors, clinical success, research interests, sunshine reporting data)
- Manufacturer profiles (product categories, key executives, board members and advisors, and companies funding history when available)
Benefits to manufacturers:
Kevin Hoskins states, “Manufacturers want to access information on the distributors who work with a given surgeon so that they can explore opportunities to bring him or her on board and get their product(s) in their hands.”
“In addition, manufacturers want information on distributors who are in direct competition with them in the event that they can ‘flip’ them. As for the hospital relationship mapping, distributors like knowing that this doctor is employed by this hospital that is part of this IDN or GPO. Then they can identify where their points of leverage are when approaching the IDN or GPO on a national basis. It helps them strategically by offering the ability to look ahead to the sales cycle.”
Manu Robertson, Business Development Manager of MTI, states, “The number one benefit to companies is name recognition, surgeon access, and an unparalleled opportunity to build their brand. Particularly during the pandemic, companies may be asking themselves, ‘What should we be doing from a technological standpoint to determine what is new in the field?’ MTI is a low-cost marketing expense that can yield substantial concrete benefits.”
Out with the shotgun approach…
Andy Bryans, Chief Commercial Officer of MTI, says, “MTI is a collaborative software platform that pulls information from approximately more than 15 data sources. It is intensely practical, with all the data necessary to streamline the commercialization process for medical device companies. MTI connects manufacturers, independent distributors, surgeons, and hospitals, highlighting details on which parties already work together. In addition, users have access to local market reps and up-to-date information on surgeons and manufacturers they both work with—visibility that allows for extreme streamlining and focus.”
LinkedIn of the future
“At present, companies seeking information on the location of distributors are relegated to using LinkedIn or word of mouth,” says Bryans. With MTI, every bit of information that one can possibly need to understand the connections between these various entities is in one place.”
“We have modules that allow heat mapping whereby users, from medical device OEM’s, can visualize where they currently have facility access and cross reference that with any contracted reps in those markets—thus allowing for the pursuit of imminent sales opportunities. MTI, essentially a compass for low hanging fruit, will be continually enhanced and will ultimately have RFP information for national contracts. If you are a distributor or a sales rep, a profile on this platform will give you exposure to small innovative device companies or those with insufficient resources to initiate their own sales force…they will be using MTI to locate regional representation. This is evolving into an industry specific LinkedIn of the future.”
For Lauren Duhame, Director of Customer Experience, it’s all about value. “I want companies to experience the tremendous value that MTI brings to any team as it moves towards its goals. We hope to create a welcoming environment where participants feel comfortable approaching us with their questions…and we aim to address any questions immediately.”
Josh Sandberg, President and CEO of MTI, states, “MTI is providing a sales targeting tool with industry expertise attached to it. Whether you are new to an area and want to learn about the players or have a rich history but want advanced data and analytics, the rapidly expanding MTI data team will work with you to determine what you need to achieve your goals.”
“We are moving toward the point of weekly data updates, which will then be followed by daily updates, thus creating a very timely and highly accurate crowdsourced database,” says Kevin Hoskins. “We will be adding several custom reporting options because cookie cutter packages will not cover each client’s needs. An example of an add-on to the basic membership would be tailored reporting, such as custom mapping of hospitals and their distributor coverage. With the solid platform that our team has built, there are endless options for helping our clients get the information they need in order to grow the business they want.”