Use of Hierarchical Decision Modeling to Select Target Markets for a New Personal Healthcare Device

Published In

Health Policy and Technology

Document Type


Publication Date



A new product is being developed by a multinational firm for personal asthma management that the patient can wear as an ambulatory device. This device will provide guidance and support for the prevention of exacerbations, the major cause of asthma attacks. However, introducing a device to the medical market is a long multistage and expensive process due to regulatory and reimbursement requirements. The firm desires to target initial niche markets for a subset of this product. This may be a better approach than bearing the high expense for the one time effort of only entering the medical market. Several initial niche markets appear attractive. These include: home care, asthma management, fitness/lifestyle, wellness, and hospital care. The question is, “Which one is more attractive?” By formulating this decision problem as a hierarchical decision model (HDM) with the different niche markets as the alternatives and selecting various levels of criteria we were able to address this question. An expert panel consisting of the firm׳s executive and operational management, subject matter experts, and external industry analysts was selected to obtain its collective judgments. The results representing the expert panel׳s judgment indicated that asthma management and home care markets were most attractive and the other three were given less relative importance. Intermediate results were also of interest, such as the relative importance of: market, financial, product, and corporate alignment objectives; regions within the market objectives; and decision elements that contributed to both financial and product objectives.



Persistent Identifier