Developing a product "with doctors and for doctors"

How Inato builds a platform that is designed around the needs and challenges of doctors worldwide

Inato is firmly committed to developing our clinical trial platform “with doctors and for doctors.” Only with a doctor-centric approach to product development can we dramatically reinvent clinical trials in a way that expands the population of sites engaging in clinical research. Let’s have a look at the product development methodology Inato employs to achieve this goal.

Discovery to ensure we focus on the right problem: Low site participation in clinical trials

five-product-development-areas-where-we-collaborate-with-doctorsFive product development areas where we collaborate with doctors

We start with a bold vision and clear business problem. For us, that vision is to enable modern, inclusive clinical trials. And the overarching problem we solve is the fact that only a small fraction of clinical sites are engaged in clinical research.

Phase 1 of Discovery: Uncovering what matters to doctors with Research and Synthesis

first-phase-of-discovery-research-and-synthesisThe first phase of Discovery: Research and Synthesis

Our first phase of Discovery is Research and Synthesis . Research can take many forms, but the most significant is usually user research gathered via direct interviews with potential stakeholders. User research is different from validation or usability testing. It is solution-agnostic and focuses on deeply understanding users. At Inato, our research objectives revolve around understanding:

  • Motivations and struggles of sites and doctors regarding clinical trials
  • Alignment between sites and individual investigators
  • Sponsor-site relationship dynamics
  • Site-site relationship dynamics (e.g. site networks, patient referral, etc.)

Even though we focus on doctors, user research reaches a broader audience. To get a full understanding of the challenges, we must look at the whole ecosystem. Sites vary in size, clinical research involvement, geography and therapeutic area. Inside sites, doctors work alongside nurses, other medical staff, site administration and others. Throughout the initial Research phase, we speak to close to 100 individuals from all types of sites to make sure we understand all sides.

  • Some are not targeted at all—and they help us better understand site pain points and motivations
  • Some are “low visibility” sites—and we are especially interested in learning from them about hurdles they face in getting matched for trials with sponsors
  • Some sites are part of broader networks—and in this case we connect with existing site networks as well and explore their specific challenges

Once Research is complete, the next task is to synthesize that knowledge and share it with the rest of the company, so everyone benefits from our learnings. In particular, we use personas to summarize our findings and make those findings actionable for product managers, designers and engineers.

Phase 2 of Discovery : Brainstorming relevant solutions for doctors with Ideation and Evaluation

second-phase-of-discovery-ideation-and-evaluationThe second phase of Discovery: Ideation and Evaluation

Our second phase of Discovery is Ideation and Evaluation . This phase is all about finding and evaluating potential solutions. Evaluation of ideas is ultimately done with prototypes and other experiments that we test in the real world with doctors. The goal is to address what we call value risk or desirability: do they actually want our value proposition? The result of the experiments determines what will be built and what is dropped.

Delivery: Partnering with doctors to ensure that products are built right

phase-of-delivery-build-test-iterateThe phase of Delivery: Build, test, iterate

After Discovery , we move to the Delivery phase where products are built, tested and iterated upon based on feedback from users. During Delivery , we focus on making sure the end product is designed and built right. To do that, it’s important to partner with doctors so that usability tests can be performed regularly before shipping the final product. The final touchpoint with users is customer support after launch. Chat support is embedded directly in all our products. This—combined with a very involved customer success team—allows us to stay close to doctors and get the necessary feedback to improve our solutions.

We’d love to hear from you

Building a product is a continuous process—there’s always more to do. Interested in giving us your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you. Sign up here to become a partner or to be informed about the progress of our platform.

Photo by Rick Mason on Unsplash