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The healthcare industry relies heavily on market research companies – and for good reason. The scrutiny that the FDA requires, as well as the consequences of developing products that aren’t adequately tested with consumers means that healthcare companies need to constantly test and refine their products, medicines, and technologies with actual consumers. Whether you work in a company that is developing healthcare technology, consumer products, innovative services, or pharmaceuticals, the following checklist will help you evaluate whether a market research firm has the required experience to take on your healthcare market research project.

Healthcare market research company test #1: Relevant experience

Healthcare market research is a specialty, and while many companies may claim to be capable of providing research in this field, check to make sure they have relevant experience with the type of technology, pharmaceutical, or service that your company provides. Ask for a list of their clients that are similar to yours, and request case studies and references. It’s essential to ensure that the market research company has a deep understanding of your specialty, the tools, and the experience to design a study that will capture the complexity of your project.

Healthcare market research company test #2: Recruiting expertise

Healthcare recruiting is complex: Finding doctors, nurses, insurance professionals, and patients requires a skillset, database, and tools that can pinpoint the exact type of respondent that is relevant to your project. The quality of the respondents is absolutely essential in these types of studies; particularly with obscure disease and medical professional categories. When interviewing healthcare market research companies, ask for a list of the types of medical studies they have done recruiting for.

Healthcare market research company test #3: Quantitative and qualitative capabilities

Finally, when looking for a healthcare market research company, choose one that has both qualitative and quantitative capabilities. Many market research firms only specialize in one or the other. However, most healthcare market research projects require both – so choose a firm that can handle qualitative projects, such as focus groups, ethnographies, and in-depth interviews, as well as surveys and database research.

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