Problem Hypothesis

Beneficiary Identification and Engagement


Thinking about your beneficiaries from the beginning can help to shape the development of your solution. For many health technologies, there is a difference between the user and the payer. This article provides a useful overview.


The creation of 'User Personas' can be a useful tool to help you to better define your beneficiaries, and to keep them in mind as your technology develops. Read this article to find out more.  

Create stories for your key personas, and save them somewhere that you can refer to and iterate them as you develop your solution and better understand the beneficiaries.

Capture the key personas


You'll gain the most insight into how different people solve a given problem by speaking to people with that problem. This article provides a useful guide to interviewing your beneficiaries.


Understanding the core of someone's problems can be more of an art than a science. This book is a useful resource to help you have high value conversations with beneficiaries. It reinforces the importance of learning about people's problems and the value of solving their problems; receiving complements about your specific solution has limited worth at these early stages. 

Identify and reach out to potential beneficiaries. You can identify and reach out to clinicians through: NOCRI, the Clinical Research Networks, and your regional Academic Health Science Network (AHSN).

Be aware that it might not be in the clinicians interests to advise pro bono. It won’t support their career, could lead to association with failure, and is not currently factored into the Research Excellence Framework (REF) by which they are measured. If you're not able to meet someone for an informal coffee, standard day rates for a clinical consultant might range from £800-1200 depending on seniority and experience.

Identify and reach out to beneficiaries


Remember that the focus at this point is on understanding the problem, and not on sharing your solution. If you're worried about confidentiality, non-disclosure agreements (NDA) are commonly used to protect intellectual property. This article pushes back against your need for an NDA, however if you are still worried, here is a template NDA that you can download and tailor.


Having effective conversations

It's important to utilise the time that you have speaking to beneficiaries effectively. Keep this interview guidance framework to keep in mind when your speaking to your potential beneficiaries. 

This project was joint-funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Brain Injury MedTech Co-operative based at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University of Cambridge. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

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