Bringing new products and technologies to market in the healthcare field can be a challenging feat to manage, given the complexities of today’s global market trends, cultural considerations, and need for value-driven solutions.
A business’s need and vision, the impact on stakeholders, and marketplace forces, may need careful balancing. A symbiotic relationship among various stakeholders sought and nurtured in a business venture allows not just co-existence, but also the synergistic possibility of untapped growth potential.
In recent years, we have seen a paradigm shift in healthcare and new-gen technologies. This includes the rapidly advancing area of radiopharmaceuticals and medical imaging technologies. There is a high need and demand for partners with relevant expertise to support the incoming growth in this extremely specialized and niche area.
Deepak Behera, MD at Medical Imaging Consultancy, has set out to support this need by bringing together distinctive proficiencies towards development and commercialization of products and technologies in medical imaging.
We discussed with Deepak Behera on his journey towards founding Medical Imaging Consultancy, his core principles, and his views on the changing landscape of healthcare space in general.
Here are some of the highlights of the discussion:
Please brief our readers about Medical Imaging Consultancy and kindly tell us the source of your inspiration for venturing into the medical imaging niche.
I think clinical development, regulatory approval, and market adoption of medical imaging products, especially using radiopharmaceuticals, is a complex and niche environment. There are numerous and significant differences to be considered between this type of medicine and other pharma and device industries, including regulatory pathways, clinical study designs, business needs assessment, logistics, and scale of manufacturing and supply chain, as well as eventual clinical market positioning.
This can be daunting to understand and navigate, and new entrants into this field often struggle to manage these complexities.
At the same time, medical imaging and radiopharmaceuticals are a rapidly growing field, and new products addressing a multitude of clinical needs are constantly entering the market. There is a mismatch between innovators and people with relevant experience and understanding of the multiple aspects in this field necessary to take such products to market.
This was the inspiration for establishing Medical Imaging Consultancy, or MiC in short.
My team and I set out to solve this need by using our existing and growing knowledge of this industry and partnering with early to mid-stage pharma, biotech, and device companies to provide strategic and operational advice related to radiopharmaceutical and medical imaging products.
In addition to having an in-house knowledge base, MiC also leverages a network of adjacent service providers in marketing, payer engagement, regulatory operations, clinical operations, chemistry, physics, statistics, medical writing, dosimetry, CROs, clinical trial sites, etc. to fill gaps and needs for our partners.
Over the years, MiC has built fundamental relationships with major manufacturers and suppliers of radiopharmaceuticals and imaging products, most major universities and academic centers in the US, as well as a vast number of community radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians. We are able to strategically utilize this network to prepare for launching products onto the market.
We offer our clients a variety of services such as clinical development strategy and planning, a customized strategy plan, product-market analysis, commercialization, and product launch activities.
Can you elaborate upon the core values on which Medical Imaging Consultancy is built and its mission?
The goal of Medical Imaging Consultancy is to nudge healthcare towards a better patient outcome while generating value along the way for all stakeholders.
My team and I aim to be the support information system companies need to launch them towards future growth and success. We are vested in our client’s success, and our mission is to guide them to a place where they have the tools and knowledge to operate self-sufficiently.
MiC’s goal is to become an extension of our client’s team, get in their shoes, and endeavor toward our mutual success.
Given the nature of industry needs, this is much better appreciated by our partners and clients as opposed to a transactional model, where service providers are recruited and paid for specific deliverables without a solid attachment to the client’s problems and overall vision and strategy.
Our belief is that if we do good, good will come to us.
Kindly elaborate upon the services that make Medical Imaging Consultancy stand out from the competition.
What makes us stand out is our ability to bring synergy from various fields and interest in the success of our clients as opposed to simply completing a project or getting further business.
Our organization comprises experts in research development, medical affairs, clinical trial design and support, and regulatory strategy. We are committed to helping businesses design thoughtful and successful development & marketing plans to minimize time and cost.
At the same time, maximize efforts for product positioning for marketing, development, and investment potential.
MiC offers a wide range of services, including:
- Clinical development strategy and planning.
- Regulatory support in clinical questions and decisions, including FDA
- Clinical trial design, including image analysis strategies.
- Clinical/Medical executive representative for sponsor. (e.g., fractional CMO roles)
- Medical/clinical support for clinical operations – drafting and reviewing of clinical trial protocols and other study documents, reviewing the interpretation of clinical trial data, site visits for training and education.
- US representative for non-US companies.
- Medical advice, strategy, and management for investigator-sponsored studies
- Medical monitoring and consulting for pharmacovigilance, including being client’s medical safety officer.
- Clinical/scientific support for business development activities and strategic collaborations.
- Product launch and post-marketing medical affairs, including development reader training programs, training, and educational materials for field personnel.
- Technology evaluation for investment and business decisions.
- Clinical support for intellectual property creation.
What is your opinion on healthcare providers’ aligning their offerings with newer technological developments, especially when it comes to catering to the dynamic needs of the healthcare space?
Healthcare is in a major evolutionary re-vamp right now. We have seen a dynamic shift in the practice and management of healthcare over the last few years due to COVID-19. This has created the need for a more fluid healthcare space, which requires integrated and patient-focused technology to be developed.
Healthcare is currently undergoing the transformation that transportation went from a ‘taxi only’ to a co-existing ‘taxi & Uber’ or vacationing went from a ‘hotel only’ to a co-existing ‘hotel & AirBnB’ stage.
Healthcare is rapidly adopting a hybrid old-school clinic plus telemedicine scenario.
In addition, the traditionally closed and siloed healthcare environment is opening up to myriads of possibilities by beginning to allow data from various silos to interact with each other. The potential for data science, machine learning, and even artificial intelligence to impact healthcare is enormous at both individual and population levels.
We are re-training ourselves on what the healthcare model should look like, and this is a great place to be for the growth and development of new ideas and tools which will improve the practice of medicine.
Need drives change, which is often the most challenging roadblock regarding new product design and integration. The need is here, and we are committed to helping to bring the change.
What advice would you like to give to the budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the medical imaging niche you are catering to?
There is a significant need in the medical imaging and radiopharmaceutical development area. We wholeheartedly welcome more interest in this area. This is a multi-specialty, multi-dimensional area in need of very many skill-sets.
My advice to entrepreneurs venturing into this will be two-fold: one, identify and understand what they want to achieve; two, realize that it takes a village to accomplish anything related to medical imaging. Engaging the people with the right skill-set to achieve their goals will be the key to success.
We always encourage new ideas because those will ultimately be the future. Big things always start small, and we aim to help turn those ideas into reality.
How do you envision scaling Medical Imaging Consultancy in 2022 and beyond?
Our offering is our personnel and subject matter expertise.
We plan to expand by bringing on more expert consultants as well as our footprint on social media and continue our participation in networking events, thus allowing us to expand our community of partners and product placement experts.
We are committed to continuous learning so that we can bring new ideas to the table for our clients. Individuals interested in learning more and becoming a part of Medical Imaging Consultancy are always welcome for a chat over a cup of coffee.
The Versatile Leader
Dr. Behera is a physician-scientist turned executive with more than 20 years of experience across the pharmaceutical industry, health technologies, academia, and clinical health care fields.
He began as a Nuclear Medicine physician and transitioned into “bench-to-bedside” academic and scientific research at Stanford University. After that, he gained experience in the industry of medical affairs and clinical development.
He pairs his training as a physician with his ability to think as an academic, allowing clients to receive expert knowledge in clinical development & FDA interactions. There are many facets to understanding payer and clinical adoptions, the logistics unique to radiopharmaceuticals, medical affairs strategy, product launch, and commercialization.
These are all necessary components when navigating the complex radiopharmaceutical first-in-human to market pathway, and Dr. Behera excels at maneuvering through these nuances.
Dr. Behera enjoys the challenge of balancing the structured medical and regulatory environments with the innovative realm of creating commercial value by identifying, defining, and articulating the best product-market fits and establishing new clinical pathways via educational marketing.