People usually don’t know how to ask for, or what to expect from, innovative new products. This is simply because they don’t know what is possible.

It takes a trained expert, a sociologist, to uncover what it is that consumers want and need from new products. Our sociologists observe people in their daily lives and discover what needs are unmet and unarticulated.

These consumer insights are a wellspring for new product ideas – the kind of groundbreaking new products that will distinguish you from your competition.

People have a hard time describing what they need from a product. Oftentimes what people say about what motivates them, or how they use a product, is very different from reality. This is something only a sociologist can identify.

Our sociologists are experts at observing people through the purchase and use cycle to understand true purchase motivations, usage patterns and pain points.

Only when your market intelligence is accurate can you make confident decisions about what needs to change about your product to ensure market success or increase sales.

CASE STUDY: driving innovation

When hospitals began replacing film x-rays with digital images, the new systems they adopted reduced the amount of time the radiologist could focus on the image, creating inefficiencies and greater potential for errors. Radiologists reviewed images on one screen and computer, then composed text-based reports describing the images on a separate screen and computer.

TOCA's researchers observed how radiologists touched the screen with the digital image as they formulated their recommendations then became tired or frustrated when they had to report these recommendations into a different computer. This lead to a simple, yet powerful insight: the most effective interface for the radiologist would allow her to create reports by simply adding a layer of annotation directly to the image.

Using this insight, TOCA's engineering team used a rapid iteration development process to create prototype software for mammography screening. The team incorporated touch-screen, voice-recognition and mouse inputs to allow radiologists to automatically create mammogram reports by simply selecting an area of interest and describing what they saw.

In the first performance study, TOCA tested radiologists at a leading academic hospital using the new system versus their existing processes. Using the new system, radiologists were able to analyze and report on mammogram screening images 21% more quickly, they focused on the image for a higher proportion of time, and they identified more anomalies on each image.

CASE STUDY: evolving with customers
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