BNNano of Burlington, NC is one of only two firms in the United States that manufacture high-purity boron nitride nanotubes, a very rare material with virtually unlimited applications from industry and the military to medical technology.
In less than one year, the BNNano founders started the firm, funded their venture through a private raise, set up manufacturing and closed their first customer orders. They had created a great product in record time and were ready to get the word out and support their sales activities.
A startup company with a new product and restricted resources, BNNano was facing challenges that are typical of many such firms today.
New product development, launch, and sustainment is a challenge for every business, and often more so in the regulated medical device domain.
Identifying the market need, customers and end users to properly define, develop and produce the right device is just the beginning. Crafting effective messaging to different stakeholders, creating financial justification and ensuring all sales and support personnel are trained and ready to go are all instrumental steps in any successful venture.
When I saw the recent news about a pill with an ingestible sensor to track medication adherence/compliance, essentially the next level of Medication Event Monitoring Systems, I thought again about what I refer to as the “Belson Fallacy” – the belief that tech can solve every problem.
What I found particularly interesting was that this unique drug-device combination is intended for the “treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes linked with bipolar I disorder”, conditions that can include symptoms such as “extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning“. So while on the surface, I do see a certain logic in having another means to ensure that patients are taking their medications, does this tech approach stand up under a little further scrutiny?