prod·uct / de·vel·op·ment

Before building a product to meet the need(s) of your user, you must first identify your market, understand your user, analyze your competitors, and test before you launch. Once an idea has been ideated (see Phase 1: Ideation) into a potential product (or proof of concept), an innovator must design, develop and prototype the product using an iterative approach. An innovator must also conduct a thorough market analysis to generate valuable insights into shifts in the economy, competitors, ongoing market trends, demographics and user expenditure traits. Before defining a position in a new market, innovators must also have a deep understanding of the user and their needs. Feedback about product design and use through user engagement will improve profitability and attract highly engaged users who are more likely to buy and share the product with others.

A product can be classified as either disruptive (having high impact) or non-disruptive (having incremental impact). If the innovation is disruptive there will be a new market. If the innovation is non-disruptive or incremental, it will improve existing products, processes or services. This distinction is important for identifying evidence requirements and pathways to commercialize your product.

In addition, innovators must pre-emptively determine the device classification of a product based on Health Canada requirements and its impact on users and the health care system. A clinical device trial may be required to support the safety and effectiveness of a product if there is currently no evidence to satisfy regulatory requirements (e.g., Health Canada). This is called pre-market testing. More information about the regulatory process can be found on the Health Canada website and in Phase 3: Regulation.

Innovating within a single payer healthcare system in Ontario may pose a challenge for products that do not fit within an existing reimbursement model. Making informed pricing decisions requires a shared vision of user values. Innovators must identify their payer and determine whether the costs associated to manufacture the product align with the resources to sustain it. Taken together, these strategies should frame the value of your product for a payer when deciding to purchase your product. 

Intellectual Property and Innovation:
Intellectual property (IP) plays an important role in facilitating the process of taking innovative products to the market place. Innovators must consider several factors, including:

  • Determining Ownership of IP

  • Negotiating agreements with cross-functional teams and organizations to use the IP  

  • Whether a licensing agreement is required to integrate existing IP into a new product  

  • Negotiate required disclosures and agreements to proceed with commercialization of a new product


innovator's checklist

  • Define your value

    • Determine target market and prospective users

    • Verify a product solves an unmet need

    • Define value proposition to the payer

    • Define your value proposition to your user(s) and payer.

    • Develop your product using a reimbursement model.

    • Capitalize on user engagement to determine a product solves an unmet need.

  • Estimate your impact

    • Determine societal benefits and ethical considerations for the product.

    • Determine the costs compared to the value of the product.

    • Identify competitors and review other market segments for existing products

  • Classify your technology

    • Determine whether your product is a consumer grade or medical grade technology.

  • Pilot testing

    • Test your ideas with a user base.

    • Prototype the proposed product to verify and iterate upon the design.

    • Determine whether the product is a disruptive or incremental innovation.

  • Regulations

    • Determine the product’s device classification under Health Canada.

    • Ensure compliance with relevant provincial and federal legislations and regulations.


Last update: 2018-Nov-26

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