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Did you know that, each month, we publish country-by-country findings on a new topic from our international study? As 2016 comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the survey results and the sentiments from consumers around the world.
For the first month of 2016, we looked at people’s reasons for trying to look good and the time they spend on personal grooming. What we found in this study was that peoples’ top three motivations for wanting to “look their best” are in order to feel good about themselves, to make a good impression on people they meet for the first time, and to set a good example for their children. Italians, Argentinians and Americans spend the most time on personal grooming each week, and the top three motivations for looking good change depending on respondents’ ages.
In February, we looked at virtual interactions, asking participants if they felt that virtual interactions can be “as good as being there”. Internationally, 23% of online consumers agreed that virtual interactions with people and places can be as good as being there in person. Brazil and Turkey have the highest level of agreement, while Germany and Sweden disagreed with the statement the most. Internet users aged 20-29 and 30-39 years old were the age groups most likely to agree.
Company responsibility was the topic for March. We asked over 27,000 people worldwide to select the top three most important responsibilities for companies today. The three most important were providing good jobs for people (47%), producing good quality products or services (41%) and being environmentally responsible (37%).
For April, we discovered that savers just outnumber fun-lovers internationally, asking people in 22 countries if they want to “enjoy life today and worry about savings and investments later”. We found that women are more likely to be savings-minded, and that twenty-somethings beat teenagers on highest percentage of fun-lovers. Out of all the countries surveyed, Hong Kong was the only country where over half of the online population favored saving today.
In May, we studied which countries have the biggest percentage of pet owners, and what kind of pets were the most popular. Among the results were that over half of people internationally have a pet living with them, and that Argentina, Mexico and Brazil have the highest percentage of pet-owners, while Asians are least likely to own a pet.
For the month of June, we asked participants how strongly they agree or disagree that “to me, it is important to always be reachable, wherever I am”. Nearly half (42%) of the connected population internationally firmly agreed with the “always reachable” mindset, while 11% firmly disagreed. Germany, Sweden, Canada and Netherlands had the highest level of disagreement with the importance of being always reachable.
Are consumers always concerned about their safety and security? This was our focus question for July, and we found that 32% of the online population firmly agree that they are “always concerned about my safety and security”. Brazil and Turkey have the highest levels of safety concern, while Sweden, Germany and Netherlands lead for feeling safe. Age has little impact on numbers concerned for personal safety and security.
Home improvement aspirations was the topic for August, looking at which aspects of the home that people would most like to improve if they could. 39% of those surveyed chose the “interior décor or design” of their home as the area most needing improvement, while “the overall size or layout” and “the furniture” closely followed (38% and 35%, respectively). Women were more likely to choose décor, while men were more concerned about the size and layout of their homes.
September showed us that a third of the people surveyed track their health or fitness using an online or mobile application, or using a fitness band, clip, or smartwatch. China leads all countries in this trend, with 45% of its online population monitoring their health and fitness. Brazil and USA are at 29%, with Germany (28%) and France (26%) following. China, Russia, France, Australia and Canada have more women tracking their health or fitness than men.
For the month of October, we looked at consumers’ physical concerns around aging and which conditions they worried most about having now or in the future. Internationally, the top five concerns are eyesight getting poorer, not being as mentally alert, lacking energy, having trouble taking care of themselves physically, and losing mobility / being unable to walk or drive. In Russia, “losing your teeth” was a top five concern, while “getting wrinkles or sagging skin” rated highly in Japan and Korea.
The final topic for 2016 looked at how often people in different countries help others or do volunteer work. People in the Netherlands and the USA are the most generous with their time, with a quarter of their online populations helping others or doing volunteer work at least once a week or more. They are followed by Mexicans at 22%. Internationally, less than a quarter of people say they never help others or do volunteer work.
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Hannah Duffy, senior user experience (UX) consultant at GfK, will share perspectives on the topic “Avoiding the storm in the NHS through design.
Manufacturers of medical products are challenged by a frequently-changing and competitive market environment. In order for manufacturers to stay ahead of the competition, they need to fully understand the market landscape and their competitive field.
Let’s explore: regulatory requirements to patient-centered market access.
Beyond the Pill (BTP) strategies have become as trendy as the Kardashians and as ambitious as Captain Kirk. Yet the bright future of Rx technological enhancements, paired with an ecosystem of services, is still more of a dream than a commercial reality. The proof is a variety of failed initiatives littering the industry.
The stall-out is partly due to the fad phenomenon, where a fringe task force is assembled to pursue a BTP “initiative” (the word “initiative” is almost a kiss of death!) instead of placing it at the heart of the business with committed resources. It is also due to a lack of BTP focus. For instance, it’s important to determine: How far beyond the pill? In which direction? These and other essential scope questions are sometimes overlooked in the enthusiasm to launch HMS beyond the pill. Finally, BTP strategies require beyond-the-paradigm thinking, including fresh measurement frameworks to test and validate new value propositions.
The crew of Star Trek ‘s U.S.S. Enterprise could explore space beyond our known frontiers because it made for great TV, but biopharma companies can ill-afford to roam aimlessly. Should BTP be treated as a transformational effort across the entire organization, changing business practices as GSK has re-configured its approach to customer engagement? Or should they be focused on product enhancements that wrap technologies around compounds, similar to Otsuka’s pursuit of sensor-enabled pills? Companies need to decide whether the ambition is truly blue-ocean or anchored by a therapy/product focus.
This also begs questions around time horizons for returns and vehicles of commercialization. Some players have opted for the partnership model, setting up corporate “speedboats” like Calico or establishing long-term partnerships with IBM Watson. Others put BTP at the heart of its existing commercial organization. Jain identifies the derailers and drivers of BTP success in a Harvard Business Review article (How Pharma Can Offer More Than Pills, July 2015) including leadership, regulatory, clinical, partnership, (outside) talent and capital considerations.
We advise clients to first address these questions before launching themselves into rounds of research to support their BTP quest.
BTP comes in different flavors. A sponsoring organization must first decide on the vectors or territories it wishes to pursue, and those it wishes to systematically exclude from its commercial ambitions. McKinsey (McKinsey Quarterly 2012: Beyond the pill: Creating medical value through technology enablement) has dimensionalized the main sources of BTP value as follows:
Which of these are the most promising avenues for generating fresh sources of value and associated revenue? The themes of trust and value proliferate in many organizations charting a BTP path. But finding and articulating value for whom is paramount. Will BTP cement professional relationships, or are they primarily intended to deliver patient benefits? Who is the intended recipient of BTP innovation?
Discovery phases that analyze analogs can refine the focus and flavor of the BTP strategies worth pursuing.
The pursuit of groundbreaking BTP strategies demands non-traditional measurement approaches. First establish a disciplined system for identifying and screening promising BTP innovations. Innovation approaches from other industries can help gain foresight into which new sources of value will make a difference in the future. GfK’s FutureWave is one such approach that combines visionary conversations with an analysis of analogs and trends from inside and outside the industry, providing inspiration for innovations that can make a difference in three to five-plus years.
Second, don’t just test the concept. Test the market with multiple stakeholders, the value/price point (especially if the BTP innovation will reshape established reimbursement protocols), prototype the innovation (again and again in a series of rapid refinements), and don’t skimp on human factors testing to satisfy regulatory demands.
If you want to boldly go where no biopharma company has gone before, embrace the discipline and structure suggested in this short article. After all, vagueness is the enemy of action.
This article was co-authored by Justin Edge and Madhunika Raghavan.
For more information or to share your thoughts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
When applying human factors engineering in medical and drug delivery device development, the end goal for manufacturers is a successful validation study. Proper application of best practices in human factors engineering throughout the development process, not just at the end, is how that success is achieved. Having managed and executed hundreds of such studies, we’ve observed some common pitfalls that, if not navigated properly, will likely result in FDA requests for additional research – pitfalls that can lead to time wasted, money lost and effort exhausted.
Four best practices represent examples of how to apply human factors engineering to reduce time and money, and increase your rate of success:
1. Ensure participants in the human factors validation testing are representative of intended end users.
Do not assume. Base your definition of intended users on data gleaned from past research, and document the inputs to your definition. We often see incomplete or incorrect assumptions about the nature of the end user. For example, during one study a manufacturer assumed physicians would use a particular device to accomplish a task, but ethnographic observations revealed that physicians typically handed the device to a nurse to complete the task.
FDA guidance indicates that human factors validation testing must include participants who are representative of intended end users (adult patients, pediatric patients, various types of HCPs and caregivers). In some cases, support personnel (i.e. staff who perform equipment maintenance, repairs, cleaning, etc.) may need to be included as a separate user group, likely with separate tasks. The FDA requires a minimum of 15 users per user group, and sometimes more.
2. Assess tasks and sub-tasks associated with product use with sufficient granularity to truly understand failure modes.
It’s crucial to perform a task analysis that is granular enough to identify every interaction a user has with an interface, breaking those interactions down into elements of perception, cognition and action. This helps to understand key failure modes. For example, we conducted formative research for a manufacturer with a goal towards identifying any opportunities for refinement in the packaging and labeling for a drug. Previously, a graphic designed to communicate the proper dose was made larger in an attempt to reduce improper dosing. We helped the manufacturer redesign, rather than enlarge the graphic and saw a reduction in improper dosing in later research.
For critical (and essential) tasks, it’s crucial to observe behavior through simulated-use scenarios because what users say they would do versus what they actually do can be vastly different. Craft each scenario allowing participants to demonstrate what they would do if they were at home/at work/in other intended use environments. Control environmental factors (light, sound, distractions, etc.) to be representative of the intended use environment.
3. Conduct preliminary analyses with an eye towards defining and documenting context of use in addition to designing the product and associated materials.
Product manufacturers often assume that because they have implemented a training program, all of their users will be trained as they prescribe. But when we’ve conducted contextual inquiries or ethnography in clinical settings, it’s not at all uncommon to hear that some clinicians have skipped training. Or that a”train the trainer” model is only loosely followed. This results in scenarios where the user might interact with the device without any formal training or a long time after they were initially trained.
Taking the opportunity during preliminary analyses to evaluate the context of use, who is using the product and how is just as important as formative usability testing to ensure safe and effective use will be validated at the conclusion of the human factors effort.
4. Prepare for complexity of validation by establishing robust team training on best practices in application of human factors engineering, and control for quality and consistency.
In validation studies sample sizes are typically larger. Representative user populations are often difficult to identify and require data collection across multiple markets. Representative contexts of use must be simulated carefully. Add to all this the variety of team members involved in the execution of such an effort (research leads, participant recruiters, site coordinators, moderators, note-takers and trainers). It is important to have a robust system in place that ensures the team is appropriately trained for research protocols, that good documentation practices are adhered to, that a robust root cause analysis has yielded sufficient understanding of all observed use errors and that any adverse events have been reported. Any missteps and, at best, significant time, effort and cost go into documenting and explaining deviation from protocols. At worst, the validity of your data falls into question and leaves you with a need to conduct more research.
Ultimately, implementing these best practices will not only support a successful validation study, but they are also critical to ensuring the product you are developing lives up to the promise of your innovation by delivering a superior user experience.
For more information on our best practices for safeguarding drug and delivery device innovations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Internationally, the top five physical conditions that people worry most about having, either now or as they age, are eyesight getting poorer, not being as mentally alert, lacking energy, having trouble taking care of themselves physically, and being unable to walk or drive.
Diagnosing and treating patients remotely through telemedicine in both the private and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) payer markets has steadily increased in recent years.1 The global telemedicine market is projected to reach $34.0 billion by 2020 as patients become more aware of these services.2 Telemedicine improves access to healthcare for underserved and rural patient populations, and promotes population health management, resulting in better clinical outcomes for patients and cost savings for providers.3
Medicare regulations cover and reimburse a range of telemedicine services, including the use of telecommunications and information technology, to provide access to health assessment, diagnosis, intervention, consultation, supervision and information remotely.4 According to Medicaid, telemedicine is a cost-effective alternative to the more traditional way of providing medical care (e.g., face-to-face consultations or examinations between provider and patient).5
Let’s look at the three categories of telemedicine:
Note that payer coverage and reimbursement are often limited to real-time interaction. Yet, with clear reimbursement guidance, providers and patients will more likely utilize and benefit from the technology.
After defining their target population, innovators must understand payers in order to align their services to the rules in place. Then they must keep in mind these four factors when establishing their market access strategy in telemedicine:
The utilization rate and investor funding in telemedicine continues to grow, making it an attractive option for innovators. But they must understand and guide the market access landscape and reimbursement definitions in order to successfully commercialize new products and services.
If you have any questions or would like more information, email email@example.com.