Product-Led Growth in Health Tech: Transforming the Industry
Updated: Nov 7
The health tech industry is transforming significantly, driven by Product-Led Growth (PLG) strategies. In a world where digital health is accessed primarily through healthcare apps, health tech startups in this field are eager to accelerate their growth. However, established institutions, such as healthcare systems and hospitals, need to be faster in adopting new technology, and healthcare professionals, like doctors, often find themselves overburdened. Moreover, data sharing between platforms remains a complex challenge.
For health tech companies, the allure of a product-led growth strategy becomes even more vital when they aim to expand into new markets. This article explores the changing landscape of health tech, the shift towards PLG, and the pivotal question: Who is the primary customer, the end user, or the institution?
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Changing Landscape of Health Tech
In the United Kingdom, National Health Service (NHS) trusts have traditionally been the primary customers, while in the United States, the healthcare landscape is more intricate, primarily involving large institutions. However, this paradigm is evolving rapidly.
A study by the Harvard Business Review reveals that end users are increasingly turning away from institutional healthcare in favor of personalized, data-enriched journeys accessible through mobile devices. This shift in consumer preferences is driving health tech companies to focus more on end users.
In a recent conversation with Duncan Campbell at everyLife Technologies, he stressed the importance of focusing on the people using the technology, not on the product itself. In comparison, some health tech entrepreneurs relentlessly concentrate on developing and supporting established healthcare institutions in crisis.
Voices from Health Tech
We reached out to experts in the health tech industry to gain insights into the growing trend of Product-Led Growth.
At luna, the product (our app) is very much entwined with the end users journey - we don't think about them separately, as ultimately we are creating the best product to serve our users and their needs.
Product is thought about company-wide, from the techies to marketing and we actively look for feedback from our users and include them in the product design and build process as well.
We think this really helps drives loyalty and advocacy with our users and by just taking a look at our app store reviews, you can see there are lots of luna superfans out there!
We build software for clinical trials - this has a complex web of stakeholders: Sponsors, sites, our trial team, and of course patients. The first thing is we favor boring technology because it ensures we focus on delivering real value to customers rather than on technology for its own sake.
We focus on ensuring that we are doing the best thing to help deliver a trial safely and effectively, with rapid feedback loops with all of our stakeholders. It's a balancing act, but by constantly listening we can build a product that excels.
As our digital health solution, Lifelight, is novel tech, we have adopted a product-led growth (PLG) strategy. Essentially the business is the product.
Lifelight is the World’s first and only clinical grade contactless vital signs provider for blood pressure, pulse and respiration. The app provides contactless vital signs measurement through a user’s smartphone or tablet camera. Users simply look into the phone for up to 40 seconds, and Lifelight returns vital signs readings with no additional hardware needed.
It truly is a game-changer in terms of personal healthcare monitoring, allowing hardware-free frictionless home monitoring for anyone who has a smartphone. It allows for early detection of chronic diseases including CVD risk – hypertension (high BP) being the leading global risk for mortality in the world.
We are driven to get the product and the product experience right first. For us this is developing a clinically accurate, potentially life-saving solution that works brilliantly and has the best UX, based on our buyers’ needs. Lifelight then has trusted partner status. The user experience and the value to people Lifelight delivers is thus where the real benefit comes in – enabling it to almost sell itself!
The internet has made users self-educating and not so open to the traditional sales approach. A PLG approach essentially means that once users are in the product, we can deliver personalised user onboarding experiences and ongoing in-app messaging—essentially embedding sales, CS, and marketing communications into the product itself.
PLG relies on virality and word of mouth, rather than traditional promotion strategies. Our ethos being that happy users will share your product with friends and co-workers.
Investors also agree that PLG companies are more than twice as likely to be growing quickly and valued 30% higher than traditional sales-led companies.
So this is our take on being product-led. It is about differentiation, understanding buyers’ needs and delivering the best product. Essentially it makes product your competitive advantage and the driver of customer loyalty.
Over the past year we have focused on reducing the amount of friction it takes to implement Infinity. For instance, our bleep replacement solution can be embedded in an NHS hospital in less than a week. This alleviates the need for weeks of scoping, testing and governance and once we have landed a product and it is having a positive impact, it is much easier to utilise the product capabilities to open the door to expansion across sites and systems.Infinity - the product - is a core part of our growth strategy, relying on the features, UX and unique value proposition to do the selling.
However, a pure product-led strategy is difficult in healthcare as buying decisions are driven by multiple stakeholders such as CFOs, CDOs, CIOs and governance, and not the end user. Health tech companies who want to work with hospital trusts often have to adopt more traditional sales approaches to get the right messages to the right people, at the right time.
Our focus is always on the value Infinity can provide staff (the users), as well as the wider impact it can have on patients and the NHS. We maintain strong relationships with our customers and regularly prioritize our product roadmap to meet their needs.
The rise of Product-Led Growth has brought about a significant change in the health tech industry. The strategy focuses on the user's needs and prioritizes their experience. Health tech companies embracing this approach are better positioned to succeed in the industry.
With PLG, companies can build high-quality products that meet the needs of their users, which ultimately results in higher user engagement, increased retention rates, and revenue growth. By adopting this strategy, companies can gain a competitive edge and stay ahead of the curve in a constantly evolving industry.