Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Winter 2010


Dundar Kocaoglu

Course Title

Decision Making in Engineering & Technology Management

Course Number

EMT 530/630


Hierarchical Decision Model, Asthma -- Treatment, Medical instruments and apparatus industry -- Management, Technology -- Management


A new product is being developed by a multinational company for personal asthma management that the patient can wear as an ambulatory device which will provide guidance and support for the prevention of exacerbations – the major cause of asthma attacks. However, bringing a device to the medical market is a long and very expensive process due to regulatory and reimbursement requirements. If a company can also consider initial target niche markets for a subset of this product then 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 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 company’s strategic/executive management, company’s operational and subject matter experts, and external industry analysts was selected and a survey of their judgments taken. 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; solution components which contributed to both financial and product objectives. The panel’s judgment was also compared against a reference of the industry/market analyst’s position. These comparative judgments and results may be revised on an annual basis to mark maturity trends.


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