Ethnography: A valuable market research tool for medical device manufacturers

Offering a detailed understanding of how users perceive and interact with medical technologies, ethnography research explores users' perspectives, actions, and sensory experiences. Allowing you to gain accurate information and a clear view of the actions of individuals rather than just reported behavior.

Uncover unmet needs

Recognize unfulfilled needs to create innovative solutions. Use ethnographic research to observe how users interact with your medical devices, technology, and services.

Observe processes and workflows

Conduct qualitative market research in healthcare to get as close as possible to respondents through various methods including digital diaries, real-time videos, focus groups, and more.

Evaluate user experience

Observe, document, and analyze user experience. Understand how products are used and perceived by patients and healthcare professionals. Identify pain points and improvements to drive innovation.

Support the design team

With ethnographic research, provide your medical device design teams with data to create products that are customized to the needs of patients and healthcare professionals.

Drive improvement and strategic decisions

By understanding the needs of patients, practitioners, and other users of medical devices. Qualitative research in healthcare helps drive innovation and inform strategic decisions to develop products that meet user requirements.

Ethnography: one of the most powerful qualitative research methods in healthcare

Ethnographic research uses contextual observation as well as recorded detailed responses of participants, as they perform their daily tasks. This gives comprehensive healthcare market research results encompassing both positive and negative interactions, behaviors, and preferences of medical devices, products, or services.



Want to learn more? Check out The Ultimate Guide On Healthcare Market Research 


What a medical ethnographic market research project looks like.

1. Set the objective

Determine your research goals and decisions you need to take

2. Decide the scope

Define your target audience, consider sample size and respondent criteria

3. Deal with privacy compliance

Ensure policies and processes are compliant with the collection and handling of sensitive data

4. Select the range of qualitative methods

Ethnographic research includes multiple methods of interaction. Elect appropriate, feasible, effective methods that align with your project for optimal results

5. Conduct the ethnographic research

Traditional observation techniques, or new, creative, and digital ways of conducting deep-dive ethnographic research formed with the impact of COVID-19

6. Analyze data and results

Gather and process data to reveal usage, perception, pain points, and behaviors to drive innovation

7. Identify strategic opportunities

Use collected data to make accurate data-driven decisions and implement strategies

Ethnography is a powerful research technique, but is often not feasible at the site of care and can be complicated to execute. IDR Medical can help to minimize challenges and advise on the best approach, using both traditional and digital methods.

Ethnographic Research Techniques

Using traditional and digital methods, our qualitative research programs investigate the complex drivers of clinician and purchaser behavior; analyzing emotional, rational, and subconscious thinking.

Traditional Research Techniques


  • Onsite observation
  • Fliming
  • Face-to-face interviews
  • In-person focus groups

Digital Research Techniques


  • Virtual participant observation
  • Online interviews
  • Virtual focus groups
  • Video diaries

Achieve your most challenging goals

If you want to unlock hidden insights and transform data into tangible, powerful, actionable strategies. IDR Medical can help.

Book a FREE consultation

Case Studies

Explore our case studies focusing on market assessment and valuation.

Concept testing & value proposition development healthcare informatics

Pricing Strategy Next Generation MRI - IDR Medical

Market Assessment, Valuation & Pricing Strategy For An Innovative Dental Solution - IDR Medical

What our clients say

"IDR Medical has been a game-changer for our organization. Their expertise in uncovering hidden insights and converting them into strategic actions has led to remarkable growth and success for our business. We couldn't have done it without them!"

Jane Smith, CEO, HealthTech Innovations Inc.


Our services