Who is the festest?

Global competition in product and process innovation. What are the success factors?

Healthcare has always been both reliant on and driven by innovations, be they new products or services, new processes or structures. Working Paper 5 provides an international comparison of various factors which influence innovations within healthcare.

For example, different countries pursue different approaches aimed at strengthening the links between basic research and both clinical research and applications. The assessment of innovations is also analysed, using the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) as an example, and the role played by regulatory bodies is represented too.

The paper concludes by looking at the role of the population, which is assuming new importance with people taking more responsibility and doing more for themselves and given the greater availability of information regarding prevention. Healthcare is no longer a product to be provided by professional providers of health services, but something which citizens or patients can help deliver themselves with support from health professionals.

Three theories regarding competition for healthcare innovations emerge from the observations:

  1. The improvement of people’s health, even in Western European countries, requires fundamental changes in the public health systems.
  2. The innovation of innovation processes themselves will have to go much further than we thought.
  3. Empowerment of citizens and patients as keepers of their health is the key to more efficient healthcare innovation.


Working Paper 5

Bührlen, B./Fraunhofer ISI Karlsruhe (2009). Who is the fastest? Zürich: Careum. PDF