Case Study: How to Conduct Market Research with Medical Professionals

Testing, medications, and the patient treatment process varies significantly from country to country.

In a recently completed study by Drive Research, a healthcare market research company, we worked with a client to understand how these behaviors varied between different physician roles as well as countries.

This global healthcare survey provided insight into tests and assays physicians use with patients when it comes to heart failure.

The scientific healthcare company uses data to drive decisions and form strategic paths for product development and adoption.

Need to understand behavior and trends in the healthcare space? Keep reading to learn how we conducted market research with targeted cardiologists and physicians.

Medical Professionals market research

Challenges of the Biomedical Manufacturing Company

While extremely beneficial, conducting market research with healthcare professionals is one of the most difficult to reach and expensive to accomplish.

Physicians and cardiologists are short on time, therefore recruiting this audience to participate in a research study has proven to be more challenging compared to other audiences.

The objectives of this specific healthcare market research study were to uncover market trends for the prescription of a specific biomarker test with two audiences.

  1. Cardiologists
  2. Emergency Physicians

The biomedical manufacturing company quickly realized that if they were going to conduct a survey with this group, they would have to rely on the expertise of a market research company.

Cue Drive Research.

Recommended Reading: 4 tips when conducting market research with physicians.

Solution: Combine Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Based on the objectives set forth by the client, our healthcare market research company recommended the following solution for the project.

Drive Research recommended using a hybrid approach including:

  • Qualitative in-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted via phone with Cardiologists and Emergency Department (ED) Physicians in the U.S.
  • A quantitative online survey was sent to Cardiologists and Emergency Department (ED) Physicians in 6 countries including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

Approach: Research Interviews with Cardiologists & ED Physicians

If conducting a hybrid market research project, our team always recommends conducting the qualitative study first. Doing so helps craft a better quantitative survey based on the feedback gathered from the interviews.

For example, the qualitative interviews identified potential issues with the wording of the survey questions. It also highlighted what additional topics should be considered for the quantitative survey launch.

A secondary goal was to ensure Cardiologists and Emergency Physicians are the ideal targets for reaching prescribers that influence the of use specific biomarkers.

Details of the IDIs with healthcare professionals:

  • Drive Research developed an interview guide to be used when conducting the research interviews.
  • A total of 8 in-depth interviews with Cardiologists and Emergency Physicians in the U.S. were completed as part of a qualitative soft-launch of the survey.
  • These interviews were completed from December 5 through December 10, 2018.

Approach: Online Survey with Cardiologists & ED Physicians

Following the results of the in-depth interview, the Drive Research team began writing, programming, and testing the online survey.

Upon approval from the client, we launched the survey to a third-party panel and email lists.

Respondents were screened based on the following criteria:

  • Specialize in either cardiology or the emergency department
  • Have been practicing at least one year in their current role
  • Primarily practice in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Spain, or Italy
  • Currently using or would consider using NTproBNP testing if it were available to them

Details of the online survey with healthcare professionals:

  • The global healthcare survey was conducted in a total of 6 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany.
  • The survey was translated into each language for the respondents.
  • Fieldwork for the online survey began on December 19, 2018, and lasted through January 8, 2019.
  • The survey consisted of 23 questions and took respondents approximately 5 minutes to complete.
  • A total of 300 responses were collected (50 in each of the 6 countries).
  • Soft quotas were also established to ensure a relatively even mix of Cardiologists and Emergency Physicians.
  • This offers a +/- 5.7% margin of error for a survey to a random population of Cardiologists and Emergency Physicians at the 95% confidence level.

Outcomes of the Market Research with Cardiologists & Physicians

The market research project with cardiologists and physicians took approximately ~8 weeks in total

Although the results for the healthcare market research survey remain confidential with the clients, all the objectives were answered with the data collected.

The following objectives of the cardiologist and ED physician survey were addressed:

  • What types of natriuretic peptide tests are ordered?
  • How important are the tests?
  • What else do we know about BNP testing?
  • What are the barriers to using tests?
  • How has Entresto impacted usage?
  • What factors influence switching to NTproBNP?
  • What drugs impact BNP testing?
  • What does the future hold for testing?
  • Who was the audience for the healthcare survey?

A comprehensive report was created for the biomedical manufacturing company. This style of report is extremely detailed. It often includes an executive summary of themes, physician persona, and an infographic.

In the report, we included a composite persona of a respondent that was compiled based on themed profiling and behavioral traits from the data.

This was not an actual respondent, but rather a representation of a typical collection of attitudes and traits based on findings from the 300 completed surveys.

It was presented in order to help give a human face to the data and discuss a typical cardiologist or physician in the market.

Additionally, the appendix of question-by-question results included a breakdown of responses by country, role, and tenure.

Contact Drive Research to Study Healthcare Professionals

Drive Research is a national market research company specializing in the healthcare industry. Our team of certified professionals has detailed experience working with cardiologists, physicians, nurses, patients, and other stakeholders of the healthcare field.

Interested in learning more about our services? Contact Drive Research today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Carroll

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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This article was originally published in January 2019 but has since been updated in November 2021.

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