Mapping consumer routes to market for Telecare technology and services across selected European countries

Radka Bartosova, Healthcare Innovation Consultant, Inventya Ltd.

Why are we doing what we are doing
In November, Inventya sent out a short survey to manufacturers who took part in the initial market research conducted by Inventya in early 2012 as well as to other technology providers. The purpose of the survey was to familiarize these stakeholders with some headline information from the market research and to give them the chance to influence further research. They were asked to rate several research topics according to their ‘usefulness’ to their business. Five manufacturers have provided their feedback in this particular survey. Please see below the topics presented to them:

How useful would you find the following information related to Consumer R&D?

How can researchers access specific groups of target audience in particular people suffering from dementia or those prone to falls
Compare the various source of people for R&D (cost, requirements)
Conducting consumer R&D in Europe
Funding sources for R&D

How useful would you find the following information?

Comparison of who are the buyers and who are payers of ICT telecare technologies across Europe
Comparison of telecare service provider models across Europe
Understanding telecare service providers’ purchasing requirements and customer charging models
Differences between retail organisations, advantages and disadvantages of reaching end-users through them
Routes to market for ICT products for people with memory problems
How useful would you find the following information?

Strategies for reaching economies of scale; comparison with other sectors
Going from small scale to large scale production. Information about large scale distribution channels across Europe.
How to find a European partner
List of sources including: EU regulations
The feedback received was useful in shaping the focus of the research to be delivered as part of AKTIVE project. While on average all of these topics were rated as ‘quite useful’, the section focusing on routes to market was overall rated as very useful.

What we are going to do next
In the following months, Inventya will be reviewing the ‘consumer’ routes to market for certain telecare and related ICT products. In particular, the research will start with products available for purchase directly by private individuals. Some of the questions the team hopes to answer through the research are the following:

How are these products doing in terms of volume of sales?
Are any of these delivered through mainstream consumer retail outlets?
How did they make it onto their shelves?
Do providers reach more sales when selling through specialised retailers or through general retailers?
We hope to gain information from both retailers and technology providers to help us understand the situation from both perspectives. This review will be done for UK, German and US retailers. The objective is not to provide a comprehensive overview of all telecare products available for sale directly to individuals but to analyse ‘interesting’ examples and the conditions surrounding the choice of this route to market.
By doing this we hope to get a better understanding of reaching telecare end-users directly which is not a common practice among providers and hopefully shed some light on the service provision surrounding private sales.
The methodology will be primarily based on reviewing secondary data but to gain a qualitative insight the team will seek to interview technology providers and retailers. We hope that by showing how things are done differently elsewhere, organisations in the UK will better equipped to understand where they stand in terms of ‘Telecare services evolution’ and perhaps get inspiration from other UK regions or abroad.

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