Health IT

Startup’s 3D surgery iPad app aims to make medical device pitches easy and cool (video)

Sales reps at medical device firms are all jostling for space on a busy surgeon’s calendar.

The iPad, and the ability to share sales presentation quickly using the tablet has gone a long way to make those pitches easier. Many companies are building apps that aim to help device firms grab a surgeon’s attention in these meetings.

Yet, one startup claims there are really no good sales and marketing apps available that can make the job of a medical device sales reps easy, and more importantly, financially fruitful.

Until now, of course.

EnHatch, which is part of BluePrint Heath accelerator’s new class of startups, has developed the 3D Techniq, which not only shows how a medical device works during surgery using 3D simulation, it also allows surgeons to interact with one another and the rep using the app. The startup is also talking with pharmaceutical companies.

“It seems that the way we are engaging the surgeon goes beyond the 3D,” said President & CEO Peter Verrillo, in a recent interview.

That’s because the 3D Techniq can allow different groups to be formed allowing different conversation to take place from within the app. Surgeons can talk to other surgeons; surgeons can speak to reps; and hospital administrators can also communicate with surgeons and others with access to the apps.

But perhaps the most valuable tool for firms is visibility. Reps of medical device firms can now see how surgeons are interacting with the app.

“Imagine that I am looking over your shoulder as you are using the app,” Verrillo said. “I can see what you are zooming in, what you are scrolling through. If I understand that there is one part of the video that a surgeon is watching over and over and over, I am going to come to you the next day and say ‘Doc are you having problems with the surgery.'”

For Verrillo, this is miles ahead of competing apps that medical device companies are currently developing or hiring digital agencies to create. Medical device firms are spending $50,000 to $100,000 for one app for one product that they want to sell to hospitals, he said. That content is largely made up of video and animation unlike EnHatch’s 3D Techniq app that has detailed, step by step 3D video, and can be downloaded by the physician.

“All you have (from competing apps) is a fancy brochure and some companies are able to send pdfs of the content to the clinician,” he said. “But with our app, inside the app you can invite a clinician – nurse, physician assistant – hospital administrator.”

He added that AppDataRoom, that one medical device company swears by, and Visible Health are two companies with which EnHatch competes.

So far about six companies are paying EnHatch to use the 3D Techniq. Those apps would be available to surgeons under the company’s own brand name in the Apple App Store. One customer is Nextremity Solutions, a New Jersey startup which makes implants for small bone deformities.

“Nextrmity Solutions has 20 reps that cover entire U.S and that’s very hard to do,” Verrillo said. “That is the future. The future is not thousands of reps, it’s less.”

And with that future will come the need for products such as 3D Techniq that provide more data quickly about the sales and marketing process using new technology, Verrillo said.

Currently, EnHatch is gearing up for Demo Day – Oct. 4 – at BluePrint Health, to be able to raise more funds for this early stage startup. Verrillo added that although initially the goal was to engage pharma and med device firms, now the opportunity now extends beyond them and their sales functions to  education and R&D as well.

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