January 17th, 2014
Posted by Caroline Popper, M.D., M.P.H.
Inadequate handwashing is a huge problem in hospitals, contributing to as much as 70% of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seth Freedman, co-founder and CEO of IntelligentM, and his partners believe they have a simple, innovative solution to boosting hand-washing rates—a smartband that contains electronic sensors to determine whether or not a healthcare worker is washing his or her hands effectively. In this second part of our interview, I discuss the barriers and challenges to introducing a new healthcare technology.
An Interview with IntelligentM Co-Founder Seth Freedman – Part Two
What obstacles have you encountered with creating a market for your new product?
The hardest issue for us is that it’s very difficult to sell new technology to hospitals. That is a historical pattern. If you look at the introduction of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and smart infusion technology, they weren’t accepted immediately either. Hospitals are large, bureaucratic organizations, often reluctant to change. It’s a difficult environment with lots of approval points and long sales cycles. Smaller, product development companies are all experiencing this reluctance now. So, we’re talking with early adopters of technology products at hospitals, and at specific healthcare facilities that are known to be early adopters of technology. Once those organizations validate electronic hand hygiene compliance products, ours and our competitors, then the purchasing and usage of these products becomes more widespread.
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