BackTable / Innovation / Podcast / Episode #38
From Device Idea to Market: PrecisionPoint for Transperineal Prostate Biopsies
with Dr. Matthew Allaway
In this episode, guest host Dr. David Canes interviews Dr. Matthew Allaway about PrecisionPoint, his medical device for transperineal prostate biopsy, and his journey towards changing the paradigms of prostate cancer diagnosis.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, November 11). Ep. 38 – From Device Idea to Market: PrecisionPoint for Transperineal Prostate Biopsies [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Matthew Allaway
Dr. Matthew Allaway is a practicing urologist at Urology Associates in Cumberland and the founder and CEO of Perineologic.
Dr. David Canes
Dr. David Canes is a practicing urologist with Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts and the founder of Wellprept.
Dr. Allaway starts by outlining his path to medicine. The choice to pursue urology was largely influenced by his personal cancer diagnosis. He cites cancer as the greatest lesson in his life, since it brings an enhanced level of empathy to his patient care and inspires him to contribute to the field of urology. Throughout his career, he has always examined his procedures for logical sense – if a process was inefficient, he tried to devise ways to make improvements for patient care.
In 2013, Dr. Allaway decided to switch from the transrectal to transperineal approach for prostate biopsies. With the traditional transrectal approach, he found unacceptably high rates of infection and failure to detect cancers in the anterior prostate region. He started performing transperineal biopsies with a freehand technique, using ultrasound in one hand and a biopsy probe in the other. He built a database of his own patients, which showed an increased cancer detection rate. His technique eventually evolved into the PrecisionPoint transperineal access system. He originally started marketing the device at American Urological Association (AUA) meetings, through booths and video competitions. Although Dr. Allaway works in private practice and not academia, he was able to form connections with institutions and key opinion leaders to encourage adoption of the transperineal approach. PrecisionPoint has been accepted by early adopters, and his team is now working to capture a larger share of the biopsy market. Importantly, they are also marketing the device to patients, since patients can also recognize the safety and diagnostic benefits, and being the ultimate consumers of healthcare, can influence urologists to adopt the device.
Dr. Allaway also gives advice for budding entrepreneurs. He highlights the need to link the device to a specific clinical need, research existing devices, check the your device’s feasibility and pricing strategy, and find good mentors who will allow you to learn from their mistakes. In terms of product marketing, he encourages entrepreneurs to look beyond the United States and explore worldwide markets to increase the chances of product adoption. His confidence in PrecisionPoint grew when he received positive feedback from other urologists about the simple elegance of the device. Finally, Dr. Allaway discusses the importance of truly believing in your product. He says that if you are ashamed of your product’s price, you have priced it wrongly. He encourages entrepreneurs to focus on their product’s benefit to society, rather than profitability.
American Urological Association:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel:
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