We talk a lot about the identification of unmet need as one of the cornerstones of an innovation management framework. How do you define unmet need and how do you identify it? In my series three article I referenced the Jobs-to-be-Done theory, which is really nothing more than a way to identify unmet need in the context of a concept that is practical. In the end, it is about getting out into the world your clients live in and immersing yourself in it.
Unmet need manifests itself as a problem that has yet to be solved or rather one that is partially solved without a good degree of satisfaction. Do you remember when mobile phones were physically enormous? The consumer was trying to communicate and get things done while on the road but the phone was too big and obtrusive to easily use. Then, along came the next generations of mobile phones that were easy to carry and solved additional problems for the consumer. Of course my word of warning is watch out for those incremental enhancements. They are good to the extent that they solve real problems. However, others can simply drain your resources and offer no real value.
For our business, there was a significant unmet need. As we interacted with applicants we gathered data about their experience. The number one question that we received was “How do I get my laboratory results?” Many carrier clients have customized programs that enable the applicant to obtain his or her result. However, the result was paper based and often included a tedious, lengthy process of forms, requests and U.S. mail. Many of the consumers wanted to simply go online to view their results.
To meet this need we developed a secure, online result display for carriers to offer to their applicants. The solution has resonated with those consumers who have viewed their results online. Here are some of the quotes from our applicant surveys.
“I had never seen the results of any of my prior exams so clearly. This is the way it should be with any exam, even at the doctors’ office.”
“I was very impressed with how quickly the results were available to me. This is an effective way to get the rest results back to the applicants, rather than sending them through the mail.”
“I’ve had physical exams for insurance policies before, but have never before had the option to see the results of the tests myself. That makes the entire process seem much more valuable to me, personally. I’m very pleased with the entire experience.”
The reason that this offering resonated with consumers is because it spoke directly to the problem they had. The only type of innovation that will delight a customer is one that does this. In fact, our Net Promoter Score, the quantifiable measure of consumer satisfaction, has remained well above the world class level since the solution was introduced. I have enjoyed writing about innovation over the past four weeks. Please follow us and post your comments. We want to hear from you!
Dianne Schuetz, BSN, MBA ExamOne Director, Product Management
Dianne has served with ExamOne over the past ten years as the Director of Product Management. She is responsible for strategic product planning and innovation management. She has more than 17 years of healthcare experience, primarily in healthcare clinical management and new product and service development. Dianne has demonstrated expertise in developing and bringing new products and services to market. Prior to joining ExamOne, Dianne was responsible for product development and management at Advanced Health Technologies. She managed the company’s clinical e-commerce product line including an electronic health record solution. Dianne received her Bachelor of Science degree in Science and Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate from Purdue University and a Masters of Business Administration from Loyola University, Chicago.