Adapting In COVID-19: A Product Forecasting Framework

Adapting In COVID-19: A Product Forecasting Framework

Kx’s Key Takeaways For Product and Finance Teams   

  • Separate The Trough And Rebound: Modeling both the duration of the trough and the slope of the rebound, from peak COVID-19 infections to recovery, is critical to developing an accurate product forecast    
  • Layer In Regional Segmentation: Accurate forecasting requires more regional segmentation than most models demand due to the local variation in COVID-19 cases and varied government restrictions responding to the virus  
  • Expand Data Sources: Although COVID-19 is unprecedented in many respects, historical data can be used to model its impact. Utilizing a variety of data sources—analog regions that roll back restrictions earlier, patient and provider research, and prior economic downturns —can provide a valuable frame of reference to develop a more informed forecast  
  • Make It A Living, Breathing Model: With new restrictions and the medical community’s fast-paced response, it’s critical for companies to regularly monitor and update forecasting assumptions as the pandemic evolves   

COVID-19 Impacts Product Forecasting For Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Companies  

Dealing with significant evolving obstacles associated with COVID-19, businesses worldwide are adjusting their 2020 strategic plans. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies face particularly complicated hurdles, including procedure delays, office closures, and more that prevent patient access to their products. In this time of uncertainty, it’s critical to develop an informed view of future sales to establish a strategic plan and mitigate future risks to the business.  

Your Adaptable Product Forecasting Framework  

Kx Advisors created this framework to assist organizations in accurately forecasting sales during a time of high uncertainty with COVID-19. We recommend approaching the problem in two stages: the trough and the rebound. While organizations around the globe are currently in midst of the trough, understanding both stages is crucial for full-scale recovery. The questions we’ve identified for this framework can be split into three categories of barriers that COVID-19 presents: policy barriers, behavioral barriers, and economic barriers. Policy barriers are directly related to the pandemic management decisions of governments and medical associations, while behavioral barriers are driven by changes in industry competitor, physician, and patient behavior, and economic barriers are those created by changing economic conditions affecting willingness to pay.

 

COVID-19 Product Forecasting Framework Graphic Depicting Trough and Rebound

 Click to expand

Planning During COVID-19  

While no one can predict the future, this framework should help you gain critical insights to better project and respond to these challenges. Leveraging this tool to strategize is only step one; your product team must continually monitor the quickly evolving factors impacting the framework’s components and adjust your strategy as needed to stay ahead of the economic effect of this pandemic.  

Kx Is Here To Help  

Struggling with product forecasting during this crisis? With extensive forecasting experience, we’re experts at quantifying what is hard to quantify.  Our healthcare experts will rapidly analyze the changing field and build strategies with your team around the opportunities we identify. 

 

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How Is COVID-19 Impacting Procedure Volume?

Understanding The Changing Healthcare Landscape Is Key For Commercial Strategy

Treating Patients During A Crisis

The spread of COVID-19 has disrupted the healthcare industry. With hospitals scrambling to prepare for an influx of patients and government officials enacting large-scale safety measures, the overall volume of medical procedures is decreasing dramatically. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other healthcare thought leaders are recommending that providers limit non-essential and elective scheduled surgeries and procedures. However, not all procedures are equally impacted.

Graph depicting degree of impact on procedures based on setting and urgency

While COVID-19 is reducing treatment volume, the degree of impact varies depending on the urgency of the condition and the treatment setting. Procedure-focused companies must understand this evolving environment to forecast accurately and make crucial business decisions, such as resource deployment, commercial spending, and launch planning. Due to the fast pace of this pandemic and the corresponding response of the healthcare community, it can be difficult to predict the risks and disruptions organizations face. Without clear insight into the near-daily changes that medical professionals encounter, many companies’ strategic plans are no longer actionable.

How COVID-19 Impacts Orthopedics

The Kx team analyzed the consequences of COVID-19 for the orthopedic field, exploring trends that could inform expectations for the coming weeks and months. Our survey of orthopedic specialists across the US highlights that in most areas of the country, urgent and emergent procedures are still being performed, but elective procedures are being canceled.

US map depicting degree of impact on procedures by location

 

The only orthopedic procedures that are being performed treat truly urgent conditions: cases of infection and trauma. However, even critical treatments like these are being performed at a lower volume than before COVID-19 emerged in the US.

Graph depicting the volume by type of procedure

Lessons Learned For Other Specialties

Our case study in orthopedics serves as an opportunity for companies focused on other specialties to apply insights to their fields. With ~97% of orthopedic specialists only performing urgent procedures (if at all), healthcare professionals and companies can expect to see similar trends throughout the industry. As ~38% of orthopedic specialists are not rescheduling at this time, organizations throughout the healthcare industry must adjust their expectations and expect the repercussions of COVID-19 for an extended period.

Kx Advisors, Experts In Resilience

Is your organization impacted by the sharp decline in procedures due to COVID-19? Kx Advisors can help. Our experts offer tailored guidance in forecasting, commercial strategy, and launch planning, projecting future trends and empowering your organization to adapt during a global pandemic or another unpredictable event. Our team will continue to monitor trends over time to help predict which procedures are resuming and when, giving your organization current data to inform your key business decisions.

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