Healthcare market research studies involve doctors, medical staff, patients, hospital directors, administrators of medical facilities and opinion leaders who advise companies and institutions from the segment of health insurance and health care and also support manufacturers of medical equipment and devices. Healthcare market research companies also provide services to companies operating in the fields of biotechnology, chemistry and ecology.
The term healthcare market research is a broad term, but products will either be categorized as ‘Ethical’ or ‘Rx’, meaning drugs which are prescribed or used by doctors, surgeons, and nurses in primary, secondary or tertiary care environments; Medical Devices (such as pace makers, pins and replacement joints used in orthopedic surgery); OTC or Over the Counter, which means the drugs and remedies available from chemists through consultation such as certain painkillers and cough medicines; or consumer products have a broader appeal and can be purchased from supermarkets, vending machines and pharmacies but don’t require any consultation with a healthcare professional before purchase (e.g., pain relief, cough & cold medicine).
Research and advisory projects
- Concepts, products and marketing communications are examined, including communications addressed to different audiences.
- “Path of the patient” is identified that indicates moments of contact with the brand that are critical to the profitability of the clients, and offer the best possible improvements.
- The decision-making process of the market is analyzed, for example: the choice of therapy or medication, introducing a product to the hospital formulary, refund granting.
- The behaviors and attitudes of market participants is studied: doctors, pharmacists, payers, patients and consumers – we discover their motivations and patterns of action.
- Market segmentation is conducted to help define the target audience and the most effective way of getting to it, so as to generate the greatest possible value, while taking into account key sales criteria.
- The competitive position of clients is analyzed and they are recommended as to what to do in order to achieve better results than other market players.
- route to market and distribution channels is also analyzed, and help is provided in operational matters, such as finding a distributor.
- Manufacturers and service providers are helped to enter new markets.
Why conduct market research in healthcare system?
Market research is commonly used for consumer-packaged goods products, new technology products, and it’s often employed to gauge the effectiveness of service-based companies. Using techniques that include in-depth interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic studies (including online, mobile, and in-person), market researchers are able to understand how people use products, ideate ways to improve products, and fill in gaps in service.
The healthcare industry, at its fundamental level, is about serving people and providing care. People are the heart of the end services, and the best, most proven way to understand people is by talking to people, using qualitative market research methodologies. Many hospitals and healthcare technology companies employ surveys. Market research helps companies understand and interpret an increasingly complex world and develop a successful business plan.