Measuring Appeal and Demand for New Healthcare Product

healthcare products laid out on blue background

When it comes to launching a new product in healthcare, research is everything - not only from the potential clinical side with patients but also among prescribing doctors.

Therefore, if you're testing a new healthcare product concept, it is essential to collect feedback from physicians on new product offerings to understand their opinion, potential barriers to prescribing, potential demand, and other critical factors.

Our healthcare market research company recently partnered with a brand to understand the appeal and potential success of a new product targeted at patients with specific skin conditions.

The market research project focused on obtaining feedback from physicians who specialize in dermatology.

The Challenge of Understanding Demand for New Product

The new product solution was aimed to be targeted to those with specific skincare conditions.

The application of the product was unique, and the healthcare company needed to understand how receptive physicians would be to prescribing the product, how it compares to current market offerings, feedback on the cost, etc.

The primary aim was to obtain a quantitative understanding of how much the product would be prescribed.

Specifically, the brand wanted to understand how the product benefits and advantages were perceived, and how it should be positioned.

The client was unsure of how to appropriately ask questions, gather unbiased feedback, and interpret the results through a third-party lens.

Our team of research experts was able to accomplish the following tasks:

  • A full review of their topics
  • Suggest questions and make recommendations on what to ask
  • Manage the entire process end-to-end
  • Provide a compelling and digestible report to allow the brand to take its next steps with the product roadmap

The consultative aspect of market research is where our team excels for clients.

“The only thing worse than not conducting market research on a new product offering before launch is conducting it incorrectly and going in the wrong direction.” - George Kuhn, President of Drive Research

Approach to Measuring New Healthcare Product Appeal

Quantitative surveys were conducted with:

  • Dermatologists who treat many different skincare conditions
  • Primary care physicians who might refer patients to dermatologists
  • Pediatricians who might refer minors to dermatologists

The online surveys were translated and conducted with local physicians in the following countries:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany

All of the physicians surveyed through our partner panels have been verified and rescreened through the survey's introduction and screener questions.

Our panel partners have relationships with relevant organizations such as the American Medical Association (and similar organizations internationally). 

All of the healthcare professionals in our partner panels (HCPs) were recruited via direct mail and can join the panel following the first survey engagement.

Through the licenses with these organizations, the panels can verify respondents through unique numbers, such as ME#, and other variables the firm has access to that allow the teams to cross-reference and ensure it is the right HCP.

When surveying doctors and physicians, our partner panels offer a broad and representative mix of hundreds of thousands of HCPs that we have utilized for several international survey studies.

Details of New Healthcare Product Demand Survey

The survey lasted 10-minutes in length and included 25 questions. A total of 100 responses were collected for the online survey, with 25 completes by physicians per country. Fieldwork lasted approximately 3 weeks.

As part of the survey experience for physicians, visuals and text explanations were shown on-screen to help the dermatologists fully understand the concept and offer feedback.

It included a page time of approximately 1-minute to provide the physicians ample time to review the concept in-depth.

The new product demand survey covered the following topics:

  • The average number of patients treated per week
  • Percentage of those who were new patients diagnosed in the past 6 months
  • Percentage of patients 18 years of age or younger
  • Most common treatment given by the parent or other caregiver
  • Which of those product(s) works best
  • Why those product(s) work best
  • Product(s) prescribed most frequently
  • Factor(s) that influence the choice of product(s)
  • The appeal of the healthcare product concept
  • Reason(s) for higher or lower appeal
  • Level of interest in prescribing the product instead of the current product(s) used
  • What percentage of the current prescriptions the product would replace
  • Concern(s) about prescribing the product
  • Type(s) of patients that would benefit the most from the product
  • Why the physicians believe those type(s) of patients would benefit the most

The survey covered a wide variety of closed-ended and open-ended questions.

Our healthcare research team always recommends a mix of question types to keep the respondent engaged. Best practice is to use the open-ended questions for the parts of the survey where direct verbatim responses would be most valuable.

The survey length did not exceed 10-minutes which is considered an appropriate threshold for quantitative research. Particularly with the physician audience.

Here is a link to more thought-leadership our team authored on conducting market research with doctors.

The article focuses on several topics when running a market research project with physicians. As a general overview, the first tip touches on keeping the survey short and to the point. Doctors are busy.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Keep the survey/engagement as short as possible.
  • Work around the physician’s schedules
    • Easy with an online survey because they can take it at their convenience! It’s also why individual interviews are recommended for qualitative over focus groups. Trying to get 4-10 physicians to all join a focus group at a single date and time is a problem.
  • Prepare the audience including what’s expected, why a response is important, and the time needed.
  • Create a screener to help you hone in on the right target speciality.
  • Offer larger rewards, physicians expect to be compensated very fairly for their time.

Deliverables and Outcomes

With the product launch a few years away from being available on the market, the product company was able to leverage the insights for its product roadmap and marketing strategy.

The healthcare brand used feedback from the physicians to clarify points of confusion on the messaging on the package, highlight key differentiators in its marketing outreach, and fully understand the dermatologist market and what would drive the success of the product, and what risks were associated with the launch.

  • Drive Research delivered a translated full CSV file of all of the responses from physicians
  • Drive Research delivered several crosstabulation reports to understand the differences between:
    • Countries
    • Roles
    • Patient-bases
    • The appeal of the concept
  • Drive Research completed a topline summary report of the critical findings

Recommended Reading: Healthcare Branding - How to Test Marketing and Advertising Concepts


Contact our Healthcare Market Research Company

If you are interested in getting more information from our team on healthcare product testing offerings and how you can leverage these insights for your strategic roadmap, contact our team.

Our healthcare market research firm offers a suite of qualitative and quantitative services. Our studies range from surveys to interviews, focus groups, concept testing, brand equity research, user experience (UX) research for websites, and much more.

Simply fill out the form to the right, and our team of research experts will get back to you!

  1. Message us on our website
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Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX-certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here.

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