32 – Got an Idea for a Medical Invention? Here’s What to do Next.

Got an Idea for a Medical Invention? Here’s What to do Next.

Ever wondered what to do with that great idea for a medical invention? Meghan Alonso walks you through actionable steps and gives options for you to drive your product forward so it reaches the many lives it can impact.

Ready to dive in?

Apply for the new FREE BETA version of “Invention Idea to Profitable Product” here

OR you can text the word INVENTION to 44222.

  • How to be one of the lucky 10 to get free access to our program [1:16]
  • Got an idea for a medical invention, now what? [2:49]
  • How to validate your idea and Identify your target market [5:22]
  • What can you do with your idea to keep things moving forward? [7:43]
  • Connect with people who can get you to your goal [10:58]
  • Find strategic partners [13:16]
  • Check out how we can help you get started [14:19]

Next Steps:
Text INVENTION to 44222 to stay updated about upcoming beta launch of program for entrepreneurs and inventors or click here.

Host: Meghan Alonso

Host Company: Imua Services

All Podcasts:
iTunes: bitly.com/Inspire


Speaker: Are you ready to master the waves of medical device product development? Well, wax up your surf board because you are listening to Inspired by Imua podcast. Here is your medical device, product development expert, that Hawaiian-hearted hostess who will help you hang 10, Meghan Alonso.


Meghan: [foreign language 00:00:31] Aloha. You’re listening to Inspired by Imua, where we help you master the waves of medical product development. Each week, we interview guests that educate, guide, and inspire, to give you the skills that you and your product need to hang 10. If this is your first time listening, Imua is spelled I-M-U-A. It’s a Hawaiian word, it means to advance forward with passion despite rough waves. There are plenty of those in medical device development, but keep listening because we’ve got you covered.


Today is the day, if you’re listening to this as it goes live, it is Tuesday November 1, and our new program Invention Idea to Profitable Product, is launching. The doors are officially open and it’s our beta launch. I’m looking for 10 lucky people to go through this program at no cost, other than giving me feedback on how the program worked for them, what can be improved, is there anything that needs to be added, and then of course, the great feedback too. I always like that. If that’s you, and then what we’re going to get in today, will help you determine if that’s you, I’d love to have you in the program.


There’s 2 ways you can do that. You can head on over to Imua-Services.com/iipp, that’s for invention idea to profitable product. If you’re out running around, walking the dog, at the gym, anything listening to this podcast and you’re not on the computer, got an easy way for you. Just text the word invention to the number 44222 and I’ll send you some stuff about it so that you can apply. All right, we’re going to get into the material now. I’m going to talk about what to do next if you have an idea for a medical invention. Just some things you need to be thinking about and options out there that are available to you.


You’ve got an idea for a medical invention, now what? I’ve heard this story so many times. You’re in the hospital and you’re frustrated with something. You feel like it could be better. You see a family member going through a procedure and it’s just stressful and it’s killing you, there’s got to be a better way. You’re stuck with this archaic piece of equipment and wondering, “How did this even get on the market?” You know you could do better than that. You know you have a great idea. You know there’s several people out there right now that really need what you have.


What do you do next? How do you even start this process? You might be thinking, “How I turn this idea into a product? Does it make sense? What about funding? It’s going to be pretty expensive. It’s probably going to take a long time to develop. I have a job and a family. I have a life. I don’t need anything else on my plate. I don’t know if I want to do this.”


Then, something just keeps nagging at you. It’s almost like you have a voice inside of your head telling you that you have to keep moving forward. Who’s going to do this if you don’t? The world needs it. Then, the doubts rush in again. Who are you to do this? You’re not qualified. Let someone else do that. You already have a job. You don’t know much about that and you’ll fail, so don’t even try.


Then you keep flip-flopping. The logical side of your brain starts taking over. People had to have gone through something like this before. What have they done? What did they do with their idea? How can I start? Who do I need to talk to? What do I need to look into? What do I need to know before starting on my journey?


Guys, don’t drive yourself crazy here. Several people have been through this. You’re not the first one and you certainly won’t be the last. You do have a lot of company out there. That’s what I’m here for. I’m here to walk you through that. I’ve seen several successful companies do this. I’ve also seen companies fail.


If you like any of this, again, you should be a beta tester in my new program. We go into a lot more detail in there, but I’m going to give you a few steps just to get started and help you figure out which path is right for you. One of the first things you should do when you have an idea, when this light bulb goes on, you want to define who is your product going to help?


Now, some people really get tripped up here. They have something really broad. They say, “Oh, my product is for anyone. My product is for all males, or this or that. It’s good for several different applications, it could work, if it’s a diagnostic, it can work in blood, it can work in saliva, it can work in water.” All these different mediums. I will be the first one to tell you, investors and people looking to acquire your company, they’re not interested in that. They don’t really want to know all these markets that you discovered. You know what they want to know? They want one really well defined market and they want a really solid plan of attack for that particular market.


After you do that, the second piece of advice I’d give you is to develop a strong value proposition and then validate your idea. With the value proposition you’re able to clearly communicate what your product does, who it’s for, and why it’s different from your competition or the existing way of doing things. To validate your idea, when you’re first starting out, you don’t want to spend a ton of money on market research. It’s just an idea, you don’t even know if it’s viable yet.


You want to do bootstrap market research on a budget. You want to be able to know that the market wants and needs what you have to offer. Most of the time, when you’re out there asking people and talking about this, people will help you shape the product. They’re going to bring things up that you never even thought about. That’s some serious golden nuggets right there. That’s good stuff.


You can do all this. You can think of who your product is best for. You can do some homework on what, maybe, the best target market is. You can go talk to people and get this really early stage market research about your idea. It’s what comes next, which is the tough part, deciding which way to go. Again, I’ll help you walk through that.


Now that you have the idea, you’ve demonstrated that people actually want and need it. It can be daunting, I know. Don’t be one of those people that always says, “Yeah, I had this great idea a long time ago. Yeah, I had that idea and look, someone’s doing it.” If you never do anything with that idea, it doesn’t mean anything. If you don’t take action on it, nothing is going to happen. 20 years from now, just think, you may be sitting there wondering, “What would’ve happened if I were to have done something with that idea? What would I be today? How many lives will I have saved? How different would healthcare be?”


We’re going to look into a few options on what you can next. Option A, and I’ll quickly run through these and then I’ll dive in deep to each one. Option A, maybe you know already that you don’t have the time to do this. You don’t want to make it a business or you’re just really busy. Maybe you’d rather have someone else drive it forward. There’s companies for that. If you have a lot of money you could obviously do that yourself too.


Option B. You do want to be the one that drives this forward. You do want to take it all the way to market. You’re excited about it, you’re pumped up. That’s great. I have a plan for that. Lastly, there’s option C. You are confident you can get it to a certain point, but then you’re not sure about taking it all the way to market. You know that it’s going to be a long journey and the thought of getting acquired or just being able to license the technology after a few years, that’s really appealing to you.


Let’s dive into each one a little bit more, just so you can see what that’s like. With option A, again, just because you came up with an idea doesn’t mean anything. Those ideas are nothing without the action behind them to turn them into a product or service. I know that’s a loaded statement because there is a ton of work that goes into them and it’s easier to say than actually live it. I know, I’ve started businesses.


Maybe you’re not so keen on that, but you would like to make some money and you’d like to see your product change the world. This option could be for you. Number 1, if you do have lots of money, maybe you could just hire someone to carry it out for you. In this case you would own the company but you’d have a CEO running a team to actually make it happen. Instead of going that route, there are companies out there that you can hire and they’ll commercialize your idea if they think it’s viable, and they pay you licensing fees, or royalties. If that sounds like something that you may be interested in, let me know and I can help guide you and I can help connect you with some companies that do that.


Option B. You have all this energy and you’re willing to make the time. You’re willing to go get the knowledge to start moving this idea forward. You’re really excited about being the one associated with it and you can’t wait to get started. You take the time, you define the market, you validate your idea, and you’re just looking forward to the challenging journey of product development that lies ahead.


With this, you do want to slow down here. You want to make sure you do all your homework on what needs to be done in order to get it to market. You need to be able to connect with the people that can get you there along the way. Things like regulatory pathway, engineering, usability, there’s legal concerns, there’s a lot to navigate so you want to have a strong team and some guidance around you. You know, it’s not just small companies that can get themselves in trouble either.


Every company needs to make sure they’re following the product development process properly, or it can come back to bite them later on. For instance, EpiPen. EpiPen, did you know they suffered a huge usability disaster when they designed their pens in a way that caused users to improperly administer the medication? Guess who was getting the medication? Not the actual people that were needing it, but the administers were getting the medication. They were actually administering it in a way that they got injected in their thumb, themselves, rather than giving the patient the medication.


It’s just mistakes like that that can be avoided when you hire some experts. You really need to do that. Guess what? Our invention idea to profitable product program is right up your alley. It can walk you through the process, just teach you about what happens. It shows you the areas that you may have major trouble in and it gives you the means to side-step those. We work on crafting your pitch and then delivering your pitch once you’re ready, connecting you to the right investors and the development partners that can really turn your idea into a reality.


Then lastly, we’ll get into option C. Statistically, this is a pretty wise move because it’s less risky than option B. You’re not betting and taking this thing all the way to market. It has the potential to generate more revenue than option A. That’s the one where you have someone else commercialize your product. Choosing this option, it’s really similar to option B in the beginning because you need to know how to navigate the early stage process, you need to get your product to a certain point where it’s far enough along and de-risked enough for someone to come in and acquire or license that technology.


Again, you want to work that out. You want to find the strategic partners that can help you identify, nurture, and close those acquisitions or licensing agreements. Again, a great place to start for this is also the new beta program invention idea to profitable product. Where are you with your idea? Have you always been one of those people that says, “Oh yeah, I have a great idea for that.” Maybe you have 20 of those in your head.


What are you doing with them? Want to change into one of those people that actually does something with those great ideas? Then get out there and do it, just start today. Again, just to cover the details, I’m selecting 10 people to go through this program, it’s absolutely free, and you’ll be able to help me shape the program, I’ll get valuable feedback for you on what you like about it, what you don’t like about it, the results you got from it. You should go fill out an application.


To get you a little familiar with what that application process is like, once you start filling out the application, there’s questions about your idea. Of course, I want you to only share non-confidential information. I’m not asking for anything, for you to give up anything about your idea. It’s going to ask you about that, you’re going to be asked about what you’ve done so far to act on your idea. Have you been through any other programs, and what did you like about those, what did you not like about those?


Then, there’s even an opportunity for bonus points that will get you ahead in your application. That’s if you make and submit a video on YouTube about why I should choose you. Don’t wait too long, this is only open until November 30 and then the program starts on December 8. I know the holidays are coming up before we know it, crazy to think that it’s already November now. The schedule will be light around that time, so don’t worry about that.


Get a jump on those New Year’s resolutions. We can make 2017 the year you finally do something with that great idea. What’s better than starting in December about that? I will you see over on the application page. Again, you can get to that by going to Imua-Services.com/iipp. Imua is spelled I-M-U-A. If you’re out and about right now, just go ahead and text the word invention, that’s in the body of the text so instead of typing hey are how you, you would text invention. You would text it to the number 44222.


I will see you in there. I’m excited to working with so many great people. Have a great day, til the next episode. Imua.


Speaker 1: Mahalo for joining us. If you’re new to riding the waves of medical device product development, or if you’ve been in development for a while already, Inspired by Imua is here to surf with you. Want to be a master of the waves? Text hang 10, that’s all one word, H-A-N-G-T-E-N to 44222. We’ll send you the most common wipe-outs companies make in product development so you can avoid them and reach master wave status. Again, that’s hang 10 to 44222. We publish a new episode every Tuesday, so catch us at inspiredbyimua.com. Imua.


About the Author

Meghan M. Alonso
Meghan M. Alonso, referred to by Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington as a medical device development expert, is known for equipping medtech & IVD companies with the knowledge, resources, and connections they need to bring innovative products to market. She’s the IVD Product Marketing Manager for NAMSA and founder of Imua Services. She’s a contributing author for best selling book “Put a Shark in Your Tank” with Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington, and the prestigious “Molecular Profiling – Methods and Protocols”(a must read in molecular diagnostics). Her podcast, MedTech Inspired, in which she interviews the hottest startups, experts, and investors, won iTunes “New and Noteworthy”. According to the Huffington Post, she helps clients navigate the complicated process of bringing their ideas to the marketplace. She’s a patriotic military wife, pet parent, founder and co-founder of 4 successful companies who thrives on guiding medical device and IVD companies through development and manufacturing. When she isn’t helping others, Meghan is hard at work on her MBA she is pursuing from Auburn University, staying active with her adorable husky Abby, crossfitting, enjoying great restaurants and fine wine with her husband, soaking up the sun the nearest beach, and promoting the adoption of shelter dogs.

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