People developing pediatric medical devices, drugs, and technologies face daunting barriers: The market is small and dispersed. Our healthcare financing model does not reflect the true economic value of investing in children’s health. There are unique engineering design and regulatory hurdles. Companies and investors look elsewhere for opportunities because they don’t anticipate an adequate return.
Institute for Pediatric Innovation (IPI) is a nonprofit organization founded to address these very issues. Sponsored by a consortium of some of the country’s most progressive pediatric hospitals, the organization researches unmet medical product needs, conducts rigorous opportunity analyses, organizes collaborations to develop products, and works with corporate partners through design, development, clinical introduction and assessment.
Market trends toward accountable care provide an opportunity for new thinking about the economic rationale for product development. In particular, payors will no longer reimburse the cost of treating hospital acquired conditions. IPI’s Technology for Performance Improvement program focuses on selected hospital acquired conditions where clinical outcomes and costs of care are specifically related to absence of medical products optimized for treating children. We will illustrate the approach by the example of our program on pediatric pressure ulcers.