When you are a young company eager for impactful connections with KOLs (key opinion leaders), it is logical to be cautious with “cold-calling.” I am here to tell you that I completely understand the logic behind timid engagement in the early-going. However, I firmly believe that is the incorrect way to look at the situation- at least in the healthcare industry. Physicians are, for the most part, innovators in their own right. They most certainly want to be a part of (and engage!) a community that is looking to improve patient outcomes and cost of care. That’s right, Doc! We are trying to help!
Recently, we had a wonderful experience that can be used as a case-study for this theory…
We located a group of articles that were developed at a conference surrounding our disease state last year. Physicians broke up into focus groups and based on their conversations and literature, created various hypothesis surrounding acute kidney injury. After reading the articles, we met as a team to dissect each article, and created our own pieces of literature that related AKI and our company’s goals. Then, we simply reached out to the authors with our thoughts on their work, how it related to our device, and our additional literature. More than half of the authors responded with a willingness to speak. From there, we met with a few of the physicians at a local conference, and even got to spend time visiting a world-class institution!
Our visit was truly special, as we got to spend an entire day discussing acute kidney injury, the current studies surrounding the disease state, and how our device can support future clinical research. We feel so honored to be in the position to engage such influential thought leaders, and cannot wait to make our dreams a reality in the form of a clinical study!
My advice to other young healthcare companies is to take the risk and reach out to KOLs. You might be surprised at how willing they are to speak with you and learn about your cause!