Better Welfare for Patients and Citizens
Health innovation is about creating value for citizens and patients by developing new and better healthcare products, services and systems. Collaboration with practice improves the welfare and quality of life of patients and citizens.
The starting point of health innovation is the ideas that emerge from:
- Work in clinics and departments, including interaction with patients and relatives.
- Research conducted in hospitals, psychiatry and the health companies.
- Collaboration between actors in the healthcare system and external actors, including industry, universities etc.
The basic assumption is that the best way to promote the development from idea to innovative, new technology, treatment, service or work process is when it is conducted in close contact with clinics/departments in hospitals/psychiatry with the involvement of the individuals who came up with the idea.
Innovation may take the form of new or better products (medicotechnology, biotechnology, pharma etc.), services, processes and forms of organisation or ways of communicating with the surrounding world. The only requirement is that it creates value.
The figure below shows the five stages of health innovation, which begin with a challenge or a need and end with implementation. It is important to consider each of the five stages at an early point in the innovation process and to plan and adjust the process continuously.
Documentation of Effect
When developing new or improving existing solutions in the health sector, there are significant requirements to documentation of the effect hereof. Documentation of the effect of a new treatment can be achieved through carefully planned testing, where the effect and side effects are tested on healthy citizens and patients.
Testing and documentation are required for medicines as well as for medical devices. Read more about certification of medical devices here.
Due to the requirements of testing and documentation, developing new solutions for the health sector is a cost-intensive process. It may require considerable investments long before the solutions can be implemented.
Due to the great costs of development and testing, the inventors/developers must be able to protect their idea. Therefore, intellectual property rights constitute a main priority when developing new medicine or medical devices. Read more about protection of knowledge here.
Once new and better solutions have been developed, there is still no guarantee that they will benefit citizens and patients. Decisions to use new solutions depend on costs, effect of the solution, how difficult/easy it is to implement and political priorities. Therefore, it is important to consider the actors and health economics before investing in development. Read more about health economics here.