Product Led Growth
Insights and Best Practices
Product Led Growth strategies are changing health tech. And it's not hard to see why. Digital Health is increasingly accessed via apps. Health Tech start ups are hungry to grow faster. Big institutions are slow to adopt new technology. Doctors are overworked. Data sharing between platforms continues to be a jungle. The gravitational pull towards a product led growth strategy get even stronger when health tech companies try to expand into new markets. How does a UK health tech startup that has developed in symbiosis with the NHS expand into other countries? The answer is often to focus on the product. Many Health Tech startups have been defined by crisis, firstly the demands of Covid and now the long term crisis of overburdened health systems. Some startups have never seen "normal". This has been a big opportunity but it puts many start ups in service of big institutions. The question becomes who is the customer? End users or institutions? In the UK it's usually NHS trusts, in the USA it's a much more complicated landscape, traditionally it's been large institutions. But that is changing fast. Increasingly products are aimed directly at end users. According to this study by the Harvard Business Review end users are increasingly turning away from institutional health care. Customers increasingly prefer a personalized journey enriched by data, acessible by mobile devices. I'm reminded of a recent conversation I've had with Duncan Campbell at everyLife Technologies. He stressed the importance of focusing on the people using the technology, not on the product itself. Whereas some health tech entrepeneurs are relentlessly focused on product and supporting established health care institutions in crisis. I now turn to our panel of experts for more insight. Many Health Tech companies are turning to a Product Led Growth strategy. Has this been your experience as well? Or is product secondary to the end users journey? Jo Goddall, Co-Founder of luna, the world's first digital health companion for teens 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! Michael Young, Co-Founder of Lindus Health, a next-gen Contract Research Organization. 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. Laurence Pearce, Founder and CEO of Lifelight, a game technology that allows any smartphone or tablet device to measure blood pressure, pulse and breathing rate. 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. Elliott Engers, CEO, Infinity Health, Infinity is a digital platform on which health and care staff can log, share and coordinate their daily care tasks in real-time. 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 prioritise our product roadmap to meet their needs. 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.