Fitness Tracker Product Feasibility Study | Free Essay Example

Fitness Tracker Product Feasibility Study

Words: 1427
Topic: Business & Economics
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Executive Summary

This feasibility study provides a review of the key components that need to be considered before launching a new product and entering the wearables market. Executive management should approve the project based on a comparison with the convenience, intuitive use, credibility, and price offered by other similar devices. The Federal Privacy Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) should be considered as the documents that establish the compliance requirements. Both TechSystems and outside health organizations and clinics may act as investors in this business project. Among the technical requirements, one should note compatibility with Bluetooth and mobile applications that store and analyze customers’ data. In-house resource maintenance was proposed as the most relevant, safe, and integrative option. SWOT analysis reveals the key strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities of the proposed device. Ansoff’s product development strategy was selected as a potential way to launch the new product. Factors including customer engagement and health promotion were determined to be the main issues stimulating change.

Approving the Business Case and Considering Options to be Compared

The business case of the proposed project presents a fitness tracker that would monitor heart beat, distance moved, calories, and a pedometer count. In order to approve the device, it is necessary to prepare a thorough feasibility plan and outline the key strengths and opportunities of the device (Kerzner, 2017). The executive management, in particular the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), are responsible for approving the case. Their decision would depend on existing resources and the validity, reliability, and competitiveness of the device analyzed in the feasibility study.

Before launching a new product, it is essential to examine similar devices currently offered for sale on the consumer wearables market. Today’s wearable technology market offers a great variety of products, among which one may distinguish between sport and fitness trackers, smart watches, communication gadgets, navigation tools, etc. Wearable technology and health is a specific direction of this market that aims for timely assistance to customers by collecting data in an aggregate manner and providing recommendations. To compare the device described by TechSystems with others, one should focus on such characteristics as convenience, intuitive use, credibility, and price. Among the options of the devices that should also be taken into account, there are measurement of athletic performance, symptoms of disease, and other risks. Technical and financial options should also be examined.

Compliance Requirements and Investment Needs

Nowadays, there is a growing threat of privacy rights infringement as people become more dependent on technology. Because of this, the proposed device should comply with the Federal Privacy Act, which is aimed at protecting the personal data of US citizens. The act states that the collection of personal data can only be carried out lawfully, and the collected data can only be used for the purposes for which they were collected and stored for a reasonable period of time. The law governing the protection of personal data prohibits the disclosure of such information by public institutions without written permission from the person whose data has been collected.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is another set of mandatory national standards and procedures that determine requirements for the storage, use, and transfer of personal health information. These requirements provide the basis and guidance for ensuring the safety, integrity, and confidentiality of medical information. Since the device would collect health information, HIPAA must be kept in mind, as this law contains security management requirements for any organization that creates, uses, transfers (or provides access to), or destroys medical information. If medical information is used in a way that violates the requirements for confidentiality specified in HIPAA, the company may be fined for every violation up to $25,000 per year.

The investment requirements for the proposed device may be significant, as its preparation, presentation, and maintenance would entail certain costs. TechSystems may draw on its economic resources to launch the new device and enter the wearables market. Another opportunity is associated with contacting interested companies and health institutions. For instance, it may be possible to extend offers of cooperation to medical clinics that may be interested in helping their patients to track their health at an affordable price.

Technical Feasibility Needs and Resources

As for technical needs, it is critical to ensure that the proposed device would be accessible to a broad range of people. Therefore, it should be compatible with Bluetooth version 2.0 and have the ability to integrate with smartphones. The latter may be implemented via a mobile device application that would store and analyze the information obtained (Ridgers, McNarry, & Mackintosh, 2016). Wireless synchronization would make it possible to select various modes for using the device, such as for physical activities or during sleep. Another feature that could create additional interest is an option to share the results with friends or a physician through the mobile application (Naslund, Aschbrenner, Barre, & Bartels, 2015). In other words, technical feasibility should target motivation, social connectivity, and self-monitoring in order to assist customers in keeping an eye on their health indicators.

It can be assumed that in-house resource maintenance would be the best solution as it would preserve control over the product and allow monitoring of the network. Kerzner (2017) considers that another advantage of this approach to resourcing would be the feature of achieving greater employee integration, since all employees would be expected to work in a team. At the same time, in-house resource utilization would also promote security and reduce liability in terms of information privacy and protection of sensitive data.

SWOT Analysis

The comparison of the device proposed by the project business study with existing products may be performed in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).

Strengths

The new product developed by the company is innovative and relevant to the consumer wearables market. It promotes healthy lifestyles and tracks the most important health indicators. In contrast to other devices, it is backed by a technology company.

Weaknesses

Pricing may be considered as a disadvantage since some other companies offer more affordable devices. One may note Xiaomi’s Mi Band, for example, which is almost half the price of TechSystems’ device (Peckham, 2018). Better technological features are offered by competitors, such as compatibility with the latest Bluetooth versions.

Opportunities

The development of more advanced technological features and strong brand value are the main opportunities.

Threats

The market may turn out to be extremely competitive. In addition, the features integrated into TechSystems’ device may become outdated compared to those of rivals.

Determining the Potential Strategy and Tabulating Drivers

In this case, it is recommended to employ the product development strategy described by Ansoff, who addressed the implementation of new products in existing markets. With this strategy of intensive growth, consumers are already familiar with the brand and the company, which provides the key competitive advantage (Kunkel, Doyle, & Funk, 2014). The main source of revenue and profit growth in the product development strategy is the expansion of the brand’s product lines and entering new consumer segments. Kunkel et al. (2014) state that Ansoff outlined the following conditions for the successful implementation of the above strategy: success in the industry depends on innovation, a constant supply of new products, and stronger competition than key competitors.

While working with the target audience, all the company’s efforts should be aimed at building acquaintance with the new product as well as the formation of a culture of using the new device, building on the foundation of trial purchases. (Kunkel et al., 2014). The strategy for distributing the product should focus on the key channel for market sales. Also, the assortment strategy should concentrate on promotional offers to stimulate purchases in order to increase knowledge of new product variations, emphasizing advantages and opportunities. When setting the company’s prices, it is recommended to use a low price strategy to achieve maximum audience coverage for the new product. In addition, the company may utilize a market penetration strategy that is effective when the market is growing or not yet saturated. The company can expand the sale of existing products in established markets through the advancement and application of competitive prices.

The following table presents the pivotal drivers that may strengthen the case (Table 1):

Drivers
User Engagement Health Promotion
Description Need to involve customers Need to improve health of communities
Category Technology Community
Strength Product awareness Critical aspect of national health
Ownership TechSystems Health department
Evidence TechSystems’ integrated data and market review National health statistics and directives

Table 1. Drivers that may strengthen the case (Gambles, 2017).

References

Gambles, I. (2017). Making the business case: Proposals that succeed for projects that work. New York, NY: Routledge.

Kerzner, H. (2017). Project management: A systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling (12th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Kunkel, T., Doyle, J. P., & Funk, D. C. (2014). Exploring sport brand development strategies to strengthen consumer involvement with the product–The case of the Australian A-League. Sport Management Review, 17(4), 470-483.

Naslund, J. A., Aschbrenner, K. A., Barre, L. K., & Bartels, S. J. (2015). Feasibility of popular m-health technologies for activity tracking among individuals with serious mental illness. Telemedicine and e-Health, 21(3), 213-216.

Peckham, D. (2018).10 best cheap fitness trackers: Top affordable sport bands to keep you fit. TechRadar. Web.

Ridgers, N. D., McNarry, M. A., & Mackintosh, K. A. (2016). Feasibility and effectiveness of using wearable activity trackers in youth: A systematic review. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 4(4), 129-141.