ethnographic research methods

The Usage of Ethnography Methodology in Medical Market Research

The Usage of Ethnography Methodologies in Medical Market Research

Table of Content

1.What is ethnographic research?

2.How to use ethnographic research methods in your medical market research

3.Detailed Guide for Utilizing Ethnographic Studies in Medical Device Market Research Surveys

4.How Spade Health Works


To improve clinical outcomes, medical device makers must discover a better approach to identify the unmet needs of patients throughout their health journey. Ethnographic research gives a path forward.

Ethnographic research approaches offer a competitive advantage for medical device manufacturers by allowing them to observe behaviors rather than simply listening to what respondents say during interviews.

The ethnographic studies require substantial medical market research surveys. Spade Health can provide you with current data collection strategies that provide significant insights to keep you ahead of the curve. That being said, read on to see how ethnography can help with medical device design.

What is Ethnographic Research? 

Ethnographic research uses social scientific methodologies such as video diaries and role play to investigate how individuals think, act, and feel in the actual world.
Field anthropologists and sociologists rely heavily on ethnographic investigations, which might span for years. In marketing, ethnography is based on observation, but studies are often much shorter due to tight deadlines.

After doing ethnographic research, the data is compiled and processed to generate a collection of actionable insights that medical device manufacturers may utilise to innovate and produce solutions that stakeholders want and need.

The application of ethnographic research in medical devices Market research is an attempt to overcome the behavioral blind spots that may occur when surveys or interviews ask people to answer questions about their behaviour. Ethnographic research recognises that behaviour can only be understood if it is seen in its natural setting.

How to use Ethnographic Research Methodologies to Medical Market Research

The following are four steps that medical device manufacturers should take to successfully approach ethnographic projects.

1.Frame your research

Establish defined objectives and a project goal that you hope to attain through study.
To accomplish this, examine any current internal data to help you develop your own set of hypotheses and identify any unknowns that may be investigated throughout the research.

2.Define the project scope

Determine your desired sample and recruit respondents. This might be problematic if several important stakeholders are involved in the purchase or use of the product or service.
When conducting traditional market research, such as focus groups or online web surveys, large sample numbers are required to reach precise conclusions.
In ethnographic research, the sample size is substantially smaller, and it is critical to value quality above quantity in order to gain a thorough understanding of human conduct, attitudes, and needs.

3.Conduct the ethnographic portion of your research

Plan and carry out an in-depth ethnographic investigation. This phase might include a variety of approaches or activities, such as simulating a patient’s experience during a consultation or viewing a healthcare professional’s facility.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the type of research that can be conducted, forcing researchers to discover innovative solutions while still achieving the goal of immersing themselves in their respondents’ real lives.

Many people have used digital approaches, such as video diaries and interviews, to create a comprehensive data set. This may even continue beyond COVID, as it reduces travel time and costs.

4.Analyse all the data to identify key opportunities

The final step can mainly be completed by your market research organization. Collect and analyze the data to detect trends among respondents and gain insights into what impacts behavior.

Identify product or service development opportunities and establish plans to put your market research agency’s recommendations into action.

A Comprehensive Guide for Using Ethnographic Studies in Medical Device Market Research Surveys

1.Understanding user/patient behaviour and requirements.

The increase in healthcare consumption has resulted in increasingly empowered users who no longer leave all treatment decisions to doctors. Instead, as information becomes more readily available, individuals are playing an increasingly important part in their treatment decisions. Most patients hunt for answers on the internet before leaving the doctor’s office after receiving a diagnosis.

Medical device manufacturers can better fulfil the needs of patients and clinicians by understanding their attitudes and pain areas. This applies to anything from handheld equipment like a DPI inhaler to a mobility device like a wheelchair, among other things. Medical market research surveys can be useful in determining doctor/patient needs.

2.Leveraging various ethnographic initiatives

Medical device firms might use ethnographic initiatives to navigate tight competition in the healthcare industry. These include framing research using existing data to predict unknown variables, leading to product enhancements and increased comfort and safety.

Identifying the target audience, including those who have recently used or plan to use medical equipment in the near future.

Medical technology solutions necessitate ongoing monitoring of performance-based indicators. Spade Health uses a variety of cutting-edge medical device market research approaches, including telephonic interviews, to give customized insights.

3.Deploying ethnographic studies throughout the product lifecycle

Ethnographic studies of medical devices can help organisations prioritise a roadmap for innovation while also providing insights into unique usability difficulties encountered during patient on boarding and medical support from all stakeholders.

Based on the unique characteristics of a product’s life cycle, ethnographic research can help with outdared decisions, ensuring that a product continues to satisfy the changing needs of all stakeholders. Medical market research surveys that have been expertly curated might help you understand how people will react to a product when it is launched.

How Spade Health Work

As a renowned market research industry leader, we have completed projects in over ten countries to promote the success of our customers’ products and services.

If you are planning a new medical product or service launch and require assistance with pricing strategy, identifying purchasing behaviour, opportunity evaluation, or any other service, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We would be glad to provide a primary consultation, which would include an initial phone or in-person discussion to define our proposed study strategy, along with an explanation and rationale.

Ethnographic market research can provide valuable information that helps businesses optimise their business strategy and increase their ROI. To get the most out of this form of research, businesses want a qualified and experienced market research partner.

When conducted incorrectly, ethnographic market research can provide biased reporting and outcomes. Spade Health’s staff has years of experience developing ethnographic market research studies and can assist you in conducting research that produces only relevant and actionable insights. Please contact us if you want to learn more.

Final Word

Ethnographic research is an excellent technique to learn more about your people and the issues they may encounter in their daily lives. The research will provide information about your users that you would not have discovered if they were asked to complete a task in a lab.

The demand for ever-changing customization is driving makers of medical technological solutions to tap into the proven possibilities of medical device market research approaches such as surveys.
Medical technology creators can maximize the potential of their devices by collaborating with a specialised medical market research firm with experience performing ethnographic studies.

This method, based on real-world observations, helps medical device designers and manufacturers to produce devices that integrate smoothly with the healthcare ecosystem, which enhances patient care and the overall user experience.

The Spade Health promotes ethnographic research. Its tools enable you to collect and analyse qualitative data from a variety of sources in order to learn about human culture, society, and behavior.

Spade Health streamlines data collection for participant observation, interviews, focus groups, and visual ethnography, allowing you to focus on insights and comprehension.

If you’re interested in using ethnographic studies as part of medical market research, give us a call to find out more about what we do +1-929-237-1145.

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