How Bringing Innovation into Technology-adverse Markets

DISI Industrial Workshops Series

4 November 2020- online event
Versione stampabile

Time: 13.30 - 14.30 - Virtual event 

Speaker

  • Luca Iozzia, Biomedical Engineering | CTO and Co-Founder of TeiaCare

Abstract

Nowadays the digitalization process is one of the current leading forces that are revolutionizing B2B and B2C markets. The following process has dramatically increased because of Covid-19. Companies, such as Apple, Amazon and Microsoft have increased their market capitalization during the last year due to the increased need for digital solutions. However, there are markets that are still reluctant to technology transformation like Nursing Homes. Even if the benefits of technology adoption could decrease the impact of Covid-19 on their residents, most of Nursing Homes do not see cutting-edge technologies as an answer to their current problems.
How is possible to bring Innovation towards these current markets? Using the theory contained in one of the most read business-books (Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore), TeiaCare "use case" will be analysed to better understand different strategies to conquer these markets and being market leader using innovation as a successful key factor.

Use Case

The object of research has been focused on patient’s vital parameters monitoring (such as cardiac and breathing frequency) using a contactless optical sensor. Using a normal camera pointed to the patient’s face at 2-3 meters, it could be possible to analyse the cardiac signal obtained by face-colour variations of the skin. My main objective during the PhD has been to find a market application for the technology that I was developing. After attending a Business School course, I have founded TeiaCare together with other two colleagues. Our belief was that this technology could be useful in Nursing Homes sector in order to prevent atrial fibrillation events (abnormal heartbeats) that could lead to stroke or heart attack to elderly people. After receiving a first investment from Italian business angels, we have faced different problems: the technology was not ready for the market and the amount of investment received was not enough for R&D and to obtain the Medical Device Certification; secondly, the market has found the application not useful and too expensive. After 6 months we were running out of money and the probability to close the business was quite certain. At that moment we have realized that we were in the so-called death valley: an innovative product that was not satisfying a customer need. Thankfully, during this crisis, we met a Spanish Venture Capital investor that helped us to change our strategy:

  1. Being focused: we were market-opportunity oriented. We were trying to find an application for the technology in any kind of sector: from baby monitoring to elderly vital parameters detection. From Hospital sector to Nursing Home sector. Following this approach is extremely dangerous since it is creating confusion for product development;
  2. Starting from customer needs instead of the technology: at the beginning, our main effort was focused on writing code instead of staying close to the customers. Therefore, we were completely missing out of their daily problems and developing a solution that was useless for his needs. Therefore we changed our strategy spending several days close to them, observing their actions and conducting interviews;
  3. Selecting the correct customer: as said before, markets such as the healthcare sector are extremely reluctant to innovation. Typical barriers are difficult to change internal processes; users (such as doctors and nurses) are not used to technology; medical risks that new technologies could bring for their patients. Therefore, specific strategies must be applied like reducing risks and selecting customers that are more prone to innovation.

Applying these changes, we were able to receive 2M by VC investors (from Spain to Italy and Singapore) and more importantly we are developing a product that finally is helping our customer and satisfying his principal needs. I believe that this experience could be helpful for Master Degree and Ph.D. students that want to create their own startup avoiding typical errors that a researcher could commit.

Registration

Free participation upon registration online by 3 November. Register here

About the Company

TeiaCare is an Italian start-up born in 2018 with the aim of transferring technology and innovation knowledge to care homes. Our first solution, Ancelia, is an AI-powered operating system designed to increase transparency in the care and assistance processes, both inside the care home and towards residents' families. TeiaCare, based in Milan, operates in Italy and Spain, has a team of 15 people and is supported by international investors

DISI Industrial Workshops: A series of Workshops dedicated to technologies, methodologies and case studies by leading companies aimed to bring students closer to today's real business world. 
Next Workshop on 25 November: "Fincons and digital transformation: insurance case study" by Fincons