Creating - Evaluating - Communicating
Healthcare Technology

Services to Help You...
Create the Concept

Originating a concept for a new healthcare product or system isn't easy. It takes an appreciation of the needs of the marketplace; an awareness of the capabilities of technology; and the unique insight to combine the two.

Walker Associates can help refine and communicate your vision so it can be turned into reality. Services in this area include:
Competitive research and analysis.
Requirements definition and clarification.
Specification writing.

Competitive Research and Analysis

The challenge: Positioning your product against competition is critical for success. But competitive intelligence gleaned from distributors, or by walking the floor at trade shows, can be anecdotal and incomplete. Sales and marketing staff typically have the greatest contact with competitors, but may lack the technical background to interpret what they observe in terms meaningful to the development group. On the other hand, R&D staff may be focused more inward than outward, insulated from market realities. And everybody is busy. Who has the time and the skills to do a thorough competitive analysis, presented in a way that both marketers and technologists can understand and use?

The answer: Walker Associates can:
Perform a rapid but comprehensive survey of your market.
Determine products, features and prices for established and emerging competitors.
Analyze trends to project the situation your product is likely to face at launch time.
Report results in terms that are meaningful to both marketers and engineers.
Help you precision-target your product to succeed in its future competitive environment.

Requirements Definition and Clarification

The challenge: It's an old adage that if you don't know where you're going, you're unlikely to get there. Yet many development projects begin with fuzzy requirements. Each team member may have a different interpretation of the objectives. Under time pressure (and who isn't?), it's easy to just keep things moving forward, and sort out differences and unanswered questions later. But the outset of a project is the easiest and best time to fine-tune the target. After design decisions have been made and code has been written, it becomes more difficult and costly to make adjustments or fix mistakes. How can you get your development effort off to a fast start, yet avoid the need for expensive mid-course corrections down the road?

The answer: Walker Associates can:
Provide a fast, objective, independent review of your product concept.
Identify missing, vague, inconsistent or unrealistic requirements.
Work with your team to uncover and resolve differences in interpretation or priorities.
Translate medical experts' needs into engineering criteria.
Help bring your product concept into sharper focus.
Keep your team moving forward toward a clearly defined goal.

Specification Writing

The challenge: The vision for a great product is in your head. To turn it into reality, it has to be accurately communicated to all the people who will build it, test it and market it. That takes an equally great product specification: one that defines precisely what the product must do, while leaving the widest possible flexibility in determining how to make it do that. A definitive spec becomes even more critical when some or all development activities will be performed by outside contractors. Yet spec writing often gets short shrift, because you and your people would rather be creating real products instead of paper.

The answer: Walker Associates can:
Write a concise yet comprehensive product specification.
Offload the spec writing task for minimum impact on your project schedule.
Speak, write and translate the languagues of technology, marketing, medicine and business.
Determine and address the needs and views of all stakeholders in the project.
Prepare a "living document" designed to be continuously updated.
Create a clear roadmap and guideline to keep your development project on track.

Why not get your development effort off to the best possible start? Contact Walker Associates now to help you create the concept.

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Long Beach CA 90808
Phone: 562-708-2706

© 1998 Russell E. Walker, all rights reserved.