Business Innovation

Business innovation - New ideas for
greater value in healthcare

Digital strategies are changing the healthcare market. This creates many opportunities for business innovation - new business models, services and solutions thanks to connected products or the valorisation of new customer groups. We demonstrate opportunities for systematic business innovation and show up way of implementing these together with you.

The healthcare market will change due to new market participants with significant resources, such as Google and Apple. The possibilities created by connected products, as well as collecting and evaluating data, offer great opportunities if we use these consistently.
Customers expect product updates and new products in ever shorter cycles, as this is what they are used to from the world of consumer goods. In order to strive in the market, the most promising strategy is to be ahead of the competition and to secure and develop market shares with innovative products and services.

Five market trends for optimising your product and solution portfolio

Use these five market trends to optimise your product and solutions portfolio in a customer specific way:

  • Develop a digital strategy:
    Leverage connected products in the healthcare field by retrieving, processing and using data for effective therapies and new business models.
  • Be smart
    Recommender systems can fill the gap towards closed loop-mechanisms; for example, by combining continuous blood sugar monitoring with suggestions for insulin delivery, or by applying sophisticated computational methods that integrate multiple data sources for patient prognosis.
  • Cater for individual needs
    Companion diagnostics and patient-specific therapies are the next steps for personalised medicine.
  • Boost patient adherence
    Support the patient with innovations which help him or her to adhere to the therapy prescribed by the doctor.
  • Empower the patient
    Easily accessible and comprehensible information makes the patient both more knowledgeable and more responsible. This means empowerment to be actively involved in the therapy. Due to the possibility of accessing devices (e.g. hearing aid, blood glucose monitor) via an interface, e.g. with a smartphone, the patient can be more involved in the therapy in better ways, paving the way for better results.

How can my company take advantage of these market developments?

Zühlke recognises current trends in medical technology, the laboratory and pharmaceutical industries, and many related fields. Companies can use our experience from working with industries that typically adapt faster to new technologies than the traditional medical technology field. Together, we can develop new business models and technically realise new products and solutions. We offer you independent, comprehensive consultations - from a first market trend analysis to the successful market introduction of novel products.

With the support of the business radar system from Sawhney, Wolcott and Arronitz, we consult on the topic of business innovation and transform the relevant market trends into innovative products for your company. Our work for your company concentrates on four focus points.

Breaking new ground with Zühlke

Focus point 1: Value capturing solutions

With the help the Zühlke innovation methodology "Stars to Road", together we can find new ideas for your products and use these to develop efficient and sustainable business models. The following image shows the "Stars to Road" innovation methodology.

  • Creativity: Sparkle with ideas!

With targeted creativity techniques, you can generate a variety of ideas in one interdisciplinary team. You evaluate these ideas and match them against company strategy. You also include your customers and non-industry experts.

  • Exploration: Which idea is ready?

The ideas become more concrete thanks to solution sketches, lists of benefits and drafts of solution variants. Your customers' requirements take centre stage. Thanks to our approach, you can compare potential solutions.

  • Innovation arena: The final round of ideas

In the arena, you can vote on the developed ideas on a strategic and operative level together with domain experts. An idea can only be implemented if all stakeholders agree to it. A maximum of three ideas can reach the next phase.


  • Speed creation: Essence for implementation

For implementation, the vision, goals and scope need to be clear. You should create the foundations for realisation quickly and in a focussed way, by defining 80% of business requirements in an interdisciplinary team and formulating the business case.

  • Product management: Road map to launch

Developments that lead to a marketable product are further described on the Zühlke website.

Focus point 2: Platform and organisation

Sometimes, innovation lies in a part of the product which is hidden from the customer. For example, in the 1970s, Black and Decker began to rearrange their consumer goods range on a uniform platform. This formed the foundation of Black and Decker's success. The interfaces within the devices, for example, were standardised. This allowed for use of the same motors in different devices, such as jigsaws, drills, cordless screwdrivers. The motors were also designed so that motors from different performance classes had the same interfaces. A prerequisite for this was the sensible modularisation of components with standardised interfaces, which can be recomposed for new products in the form of a building block system. This principle applies for modern hardware and software alike.

Restructuring of corporate organisation is often required in order to make a product platform successful. Otherwise, the benefits of the platform to specific products are quickly undone. The organisation should therefore separate the development of technology, platform and products and allow for an intense exchange.

Focus point 3: Customer experience

Apple has great success with its "i" products, because customer experience is a central development goal. Our user experience experts have the same aim: To make your product into an inspiring experience for the user.
In order to achieve this goal, we have extended the standardised user-centred design process for the development of products to include the specific requirements of medical technology. The result: Zühlke-designed hard- and software is optimised for user-friendliness and high protection against faulty operation.

Seeking new horizons with Zühlke

Focus point 4: Developing a product strategy, networking

The increasing connectivity of medical products allows for entirely new applications. It is worth further developing the strengths and unique selling points of your own products and simultaneously taking advantage of the opportunities for going digital with new ideas and business models.

Zühlke has already carried out several projects for developing a product strategy and road maps for a timescale of five years. The task: consider known requirements and functionalities, develop innovative new business models and assess these for sustainability. Sustainability is examined from three perspectives: Market, cost/income and technical perspectives. The project period typically lasts six months.
This period is typically split into three phases.

  • Ideation phase: In this phase, we generate and prioritise a variety of ideas with the help of creativity methods. We carry out workshops (based on the "Stars to Road" method) with your experts.
  • Prioritisation / selection of ideas: We enhance the ideas with additional information (e.g. according to the NABC method or Business Model Canvas). Using the additional information, we assess, prioritise and re-select. Then follows the first draft of a sensible scope for the project.
  • Creating the strategy / road map: We develop an understanding of the system architecture according to the involvement of the stakeholders, the definition of the first requirements and feedback from potential product users. Then follows the illustration of the plan using a road map.

From the second phase, every idea is assigned to a product owner. This person is responsible for further content-related enrichment of their idea(s). Our experts support idea owners with methodological and content-related input.

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Unsere Ansprechpartner

Photo: Mr Thorsten Knauf

Thorsten Knauf

Director Business Development
Insurance & Banking

Photo: Mr Jens von der Brelie

Jens von der Brelie

Director Solution Center
Industrial & Consumer Solutions