Companies come to us with their lifesaving molecules and devices.

We help understand what patients and caregivers need, then innovate product and service solutions that help eliminate barriers to treatment.


We deliver deep insights

from patients, caregivers, and clinicians in their actual use environment to understand current practices, challenges, and opportunities.

We’ve taken the time to develop and patent research techniques that get to the heart of complex questions surrounding chronic disease and treatment:

  • Understanding current medications and therapy regimens in complex disease states
  • Exploring cognitive, disease-related, and behavioral barriers to adherence and compliance
  • Understanding current use of technology (medical apps, connected devices, etc.)
  • Profiling use environment and use limitations in homes, hospitals, outpatient centers, and pharmacies (contextual inquiry, ethnography)
  • Identifying workarounds and edge cases (unmet needs with current solutions)
  • Developing actionable personas and journey maps purpose-built to support device development or innovation
“You ask them what they do – and they laugh and say they quite can’t describe it. I can’t either, but it’s magic to watch them work.”

We speed testing
 and refinement

of devices, support materials, and product service concepts to ensure they meet needs, are highly usable, and provide differentiation.

We take a wide view, including all the touchpoints users experience, including Instructions for Use, training, starter kits and packaging.

  • Performing formative human factors testing on device concepts, instructions, and training materials
  • Creating unique research approaches to address extremely difficult questions or rare patient groups
  • Evaluating how proposed changes to devices, instructions, or packaging affects usability and user experience
  • Exploring how different delivery devices, dosing regimens, and polypharmacy affect preference and acceptance under different competitive scenarios
  • Refining connected device and mobile medical app systems to meet user needs
  • Working with engineering and design teams to ensure devices moving through development continue to meet user needs and requirements as the design evolves

We consider every aspect of the user experience when considering device development, and ensure that the integrated presentation delivers the desired effect.

“Other firms are off the rack. Matchstick is a custom tailored suit. It’s made for me and makes me look great.”

We invent novel ideas

for products, features, or services that are innovative, and can be implemented in a pharma environment.

With over 90 patents and thousands of invention disclosures for our clients, we’ve developed a track record of generating creative and clever concepts that pharmaceutical companies can implement.

  • Running innovation challenges with diverse teams to broaden concepts and IP generation
  • Leading and participating in brainstorming and creative thinking exercises with nontraditional participants to widen the concept funnel
  • Leading focused innovation efforts to work-around or expand existing patent art
  • Creating new ways to add value to currently marketed devices within constraints of current manufacturing capabilities and device performance.
  • Identifying life cycle management opportunities for devices to expand or retain market appeal
“When I met Matchstick, I said, I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we have to work with these guys.”

We solve “unusual” problems

that don’t fit neatly into a design, market research, strategic consulting, user experience, or engineering bucket.

Clients approach us with all sorts of interesting problems.  They don’t fit into neat little boxes of market research, user research, innovation, or strategy. They have big, complex questions that warrant unique approaches.

  • Finding ways to address “ecosystem” issues that include multiple stakeholders
  • Engaging rare patients in new and clever ways to address key issues
  • Creating ways to learn about novel technologies that no one has seen before and that don’t fit into current mental models
  • Developing reliable proxies for studying devices/users that are difficult to address directly

The saying, “to a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” is the opposite of how we think. One of our core company values is Excellence, and we pride ourselves in developing the best approach to solve the problem.

“The Matchsticks are mercenaries for value creation. They will take on projects that scare big firms.”

We help teams make cross-functional 
decisions or launch initiatives

where lack of progress could result in delays to key decision and initiations.

We use our corporate experience to help our clients navigate internal politics, understand cross functional agendas and “wins,” and build business cases that inspire confidence with leadership teams.

  • Creating device strategies linked to molecule pipelines, competitive position, and other strategic considerations
  • Leading strategy workshops to guide multifunctional stakeholders in selecting device platforms and pipeline strategies
  • Evaluating and selecting the right technology platform to advance (preliminary analysis)
  • Segmenting patient populations based on affinity for devices and device functionality
  • Developing value propositions for development-phase devices to gain molecule team support
  • Building business cases to support incremental investment in devices, programs and resources
  • Working with technical and business teams to make complex trade-off decisions

We know what it’s like to work through internal organizational issues, and can help in ways that consultants lacking that experience can’t.

“We all appreciate your 5-star delivery and execution, all the while doing so with genuine warmth.”

Which clients benefit most from working with us?

We’re unapologetically picky about the projects and clients we take on.  Our experience is that fit is the most important predictor of success for everyone involved.

It’s easy for us to do great work when our clients appreciate and value:

  • Racing to the top, not the bottom.

    We provide incredible service, personal attention, and craftsmanship. We work in an environment that is transparent and respectful. We’re not a “vendor” that does low-bid work.

  • Partnering.

    We’re not a good fit for transactional clients who enjoy having consultants grind it out until 2am, or want to boss us around. Intense ownership demands collaboration on the problem statement and solutions.

  • Intense ownership.

    We treat your business like it’s our own and want to deeply understand and internalize it. Our clients get to know our team like their own employees, and routinely treat us as part of their core team.

  • Novel, clever approaches.

    We’re nimble and love to experiment. We work directly with clients to try clever approaches that then become new sources of competitive advantage for them.

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