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Are These Health Innovation Assumptions Valid?


Many biomedical and health products and services are on the market and their success is driven by best guesses. The only way to know if these assumptions are valid is through commercial and scientific experimentation.

Biomedical and health entrepreneurs are in the business on challenging assumptions. Whether it be the underlying assumptions driving a business model canvas, the hypotheses behind the numbers on a pro forma, or the amount of market adoption in the first year of roll out, entrepreneurship is an experiment.

Many biomedical and health products and services are on the market and their success is driven by best guesses as to how or whether the dogs will eat the food. Here are some best guesses that require ongoing validation:

1. Patients are willing and able to assume more responsibility for their care and health and assume the consequences and liability for their actions.

2. Digital health will lower costs, improve outcomes, and enhance the patient experience.

3. The doctor-patient relationship created during telemedicine encounters create better, the same or worse outcomes than face to face visits.

4. Information changes behavior.

5. Sick-care can be fixed from inside.

6. Millennials will have more of an entrepreneurial mindset than preceding generations.

7. Private practice is dead.

8. The business model for Academic Health Centers is dead.

9. Convergent thinking creates better results than silos.

10. Leaderpreneurs make a difference

The only way we will know the answers to these questions is to design and execute commercial and scientific experiments to accept or reject the underlying null hypotheses. In the meantime, it’s all a guess.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice