‘What is a product development lifecycle?’ is a common question for those entering the MedTech marketing landscape.
A lifecycle is a unique path that most products follow as they work towards launching and after launching into retirement.
In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about how a product lifecycle works and the steps involved in taking your product to market.
Table of Contents
Where Does The Product Development Lifecycle Start?
The development life cycle begins with a product idea. Once you have a clear image of what you want to launch, you can begin thinking about all the other steps.
In MedTech, numerous things must be checked before you begin thinking about marketing your product. It’s an incredibly competitive industry, so you must research to ensure your product will compete in the marketplace.
You must also decide whether to promote your product in-house or hire an external specialist to help you through product lifecycle management.
The Stages Of The Medtech Product Development Lifecycle
There are multiple stages to the MedTech product lifecycle, which can vary depending on the specific product you’re trying to launch. However, there are six steps that all products tend to follow, including:
What is the product you want to make? What is the concept? It would help if you had a really strong idea of what you want the product to be to convince potential stakeholders and investors that working with you on your project would be worth their time and money.
Once you have a clear product concept, it’s time to think about what it will look like. Good design is important to show potential customers and shareholders how your product will work, so they can demonstrate how it will achieve its functions.
This is particularly important for MedTech devices used in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Buyers and doctors will want to see how the device works and understand what it will look like.
Regulatory approval is very important for any device, and in MedTech, it’s especially important as devices can have a lasting effect on people’s health and well-being. During your product’s creation, you will have applied for various regulatory approvals from your relevant regulatory boards (healthcare, government etc.).
Getting your approval means that your product is approved to be taken to the commercial market.
Launch And Commercialisation
This is one of the product development lifecycle’s biggest and most diverse stages. It comprises some of the main parts of marketing, including:
- Finalising design
- Promoting the device (through relevant channels)
- Manufacturing & production
- A full marketing campaign
- A product launch
The product launch will mark when your device is ready to be marketed properly. It will be released through your desired sales channels, bringing you to the next step.
Post-Market Surveillance And Maintenance
Now your product has hit the market; you’ll want to watch it closely to see how it performs. You’ll need to monitor things such as:
- What people like about the product
- What they dislike about the product
- Who is buying the product
- Who is getting the most use from the product
- Which marketing channels are helping you reach the most customers
These things help with ‘Maintenance’, which is the process of regularly updating your marketing and targeting to ensure you’re continually reaching the demographic you want for the highest success rate.
Retirement Or Renewment
In MedTech, there is always something new. Your device may be the next big thing for a time, but it’s only a matter of waiting before something else comes along. You may decide to retire your device after a period of dropping interest, or you might use your post-market surveillance to create a new version – restarting the cycle.
What Happens When The Product Life Cycle Ends?
There’s a reason it’s known as a ‘life cycle’ and not simply a ‘life’: the product life cycle tends to loop back to the start once one ends.
Once you’ve seen your product’s performance, you can start thinking about its next version. The life cycle begins again with reinvention and your company’s newest launch.
For example, let’s say you’ve invented a new device which helps diabetic people take their insulin, it sells very well, but then a new device comes onto the market, which makes yours obsolete. It will be your job to find out what you can do to improve your device and create a better, more competitive product.
We hope this article adequately answers and explains the ‘What Is A Product Development Lifecycle?’ question. Though all products are different, most will take all six steps above on their journey to the end of the cycle.
If you’re launching a new MedTech product, remember to stay aware of changes to the marketplace and utilise all the tools at your disposal for surveillance and marketing.