Saturday, February 06, 2016

Role Of a Clinical Product Manager In a Healthcare Technology Company.

When I joined Castlight Health in 2015 to build data-driven insights and recommendations products, I started managing clinicians who play a critical role in product development. Soon I realized that, while they play a critical role in product strategy and product development, there is no clearly documented definition of roles and responsibilities for a clinician in a healthcare technology company. So, I decided to spend some time researching it by talking with physicians and those who work with them and documenting it for my own understanding. Since this is an important role in a rapidly growing industry, I decided to share the knowledge openly for the benefit of physicians considering a full-time or part-time role in a healthcare technology company.

Motivation of physicians to join a healthcare technology product company: A physician joins a healthcare technology product company because he or she believes in the power of technology, combined with his or her expertise in medicine, to influence healthcare in a profound way compared to working in a hospital and serving a few people a year with their time.

Role of physicians in a technology product company: They play two main roles. Some play the role of a medical expert who endorses the products and services of the healthcare technology company. This role resides in the sales and marketing arm of a company. They may have titles such as Chief Medical Officer or Solutions Consultant. Some play the role of a medical expert inside a product team. Such experts are called Clinical Product Managers.

The assignment of a clinical product manager will vary depending on the company. However, I want to give you an idea of how it might look in a company such as Castlight, which is a good representation of a small healthcare management technology company. I believe that understanding the day to day responsibilities and the time spent on every work area will help set the right expectations and attract the right people to a healthcare technology company.


Main Assignments of a clinical product manager in Castlight: First, they work with data science teams to identify and assess opportunities to influence member behavior and validate concepts against real-world healthcare workflows. For example, they will determine if Diabetes is an area where technology-based interventions can lead to better health and financial outcomes. Second, they work with epidemiologists to segment the population, define their healthcare journey, determine their motivation and define calls to action. Third, they work with product managers to define behavior change goals and interventions to implement the calls to action.  Fourth, they work with content leads to write clinical content and review it for clinical accuracy. They will also work with user testing teams to define criteria for sensitivity testing. Finally, they will represent the product team in customer conversations before and after product sales. They will reach out to a larger community of physicians, contracted by the company, to seek specialized expertise when appropriate.

Skills and Development
Clinical product managers could go through content writing training and pragmatic product management training to fine-tune their product leadership and product operations skills.

Career Path
Clinical product managers will go on to become general managers of products in a healthcare technology product company.

If you are a physician who has practiced medicine for a few years and has experience building software products for the healthcare industry, consider joining us.  Together we can make a difference in the lives of over 6 million people working for over 200 employers served by Castlight. You can see the detailed job description here. You can also contact me via LinkedIn or contact my recruiting colleague. Shawn Brown. sbrown@castlighthealth.com 



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