6 Questions to Ask

When Evaluating New Products

  • Does it answer a true need? Technology that solves specific problems justifies investment. Bells and whistles alone do not.
  • Will it truly improve patients’ lives? Improvement in test results does not necessarily translate into longer life or better quality of life. Several medications have produced promising changes in short-term surrogate endpoints but increased complications in the long term.
  • Will it be effective for your practice? Companies may have proven that a product is “effective” on a certain patient population, but is it significantly better than existing products? And will it help your specific patient population?
  • Is it safe? FDA demands that companies prove products are “safe and effective,” but proving safety in a 1,500-patient trial doesn’t always reflect real-world experience in larger, more heterogeneous groups. Many serious adverse effects turn up only after a product has been on the market for a few years.
  • Is it user-friendly? More than a third of all medical device incident reports involve user error.
  • What is the total cost of the technology? Make sure you understand all the hidden costs, including setup, licensing and maintenance.