Today’s health care industry has done fantastic work for all of mankind but unfortunately, children have not received the level of attention they deserve from either the Medical Device industry or the Pharmaceutical industry. Both of these industries have developed product specifically targeted and intended for children that have had tremendous impact on improving the health of our children. This fact is not in question. Where the problem lies is in the more niche areas of pediatric medicine where the financial story of these products cannot compete with those that are found in adult medicine. Let’s look at the following graphic to help illustrate this point. Each rock represents a medical device market opportunity.
As you can see, the pediatric medical device market is approximately only 1/10th as large as the adult medical device market. Therefore each product opportunity or need that exists in pediatrics is at most only 10% of a similar market for adults and when you factor in the market fragmentation due to the many developmental phases within pediatrics, any one pediatric opportunity can be very much smaller than any adult opportunity. Most development firms have what is called a ‘hurdle’ rate that any new projects being considered must have a likelihood of achieving prior to allocating any development funds to the project. This hurdle rate is usually a financial measure such as ROI or break-even analysis. With the market size of pediatric opportunities very much less than that of adult opportunities, a higher percentage of pediatric devices don’t meet this hurdle rate and therefore never get developed. It is these unmet needs that DesignWise Medical has been setup to address by removing the need to show a financial return on investment. The only thing we are requiring is a social return on our non-profit investment. This social return takes the form of improved outcomes for children through the use of products we developed over the currently available products/methods in use. If the product affects 1 child or 1 million children it will receive the same level of attention and diligence from DesignWise Medical. What is important is the social-story, not the financial story.
If you are aware of other needs, please share them with us. We continually try to uncover the unmet pediatric needs and then evaluate the best approach to meeting that need. Your perspective as either a parent, care provider or child advocate is vital to uncovering these unmet needs and getting them the attention they deserve.