Innovation Perspectives – Innovating a Health Care Fix

by Mark Roser

This is the seventh of several ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘What product or sector is in desperate need of innovation?‘. Here is the next perspective in the series:

by Mark Roser

Innovation Perspectives - Innovating a Health Care FixIn looking across various sectors the area of healthcare stands out as a particular opportunity for innovation. And, regardless which side one takes politically, there is no doubt a surplus of opportunities for improvement. In the US, government healthcare (Medicare and Medicaid) together with private healthcare account for a significant percentage of GDP.

As professionals involved in open innovation, readers of this blog will no doubt bring a valued perspective on how we can deliver innovation in this space. Whether we work in the healthcare field or are simply consumers of healthcare, the lessons that we learn from open innovation collaboration are intrinsically required in innovating the future of healthcare.

Each health transaction is touched by a multitude of stakeholders:

  • Patients and their network – family members, caregivers, friends, etc.
  • Doctors (generalists and specialists) and their network – health technicians, clerical staff, reimbursement specialists representing the doctor, professional societies, etc.
  • Health institutions (hospital, medical center, practice, etc) and their network – administrators, IT specialists, physical plant & facilities management, etc.
  • Pharmacies and their network – pharmacist, pharmacists assistants, retail pharmacy operators, etc.
  • Pharmaceutical companies and their network – scientists, clinical experts, marketers, etc.
  • Payers (insurance companies or government body such as Medicare Medicaid) and their network – claims specialists, underwriters, administrators, customer service experts, etc.
  • Primary researchers (who develop new cures) – NIH, Universities, entrepreneurs, etc.
  • Educators – internet websites, magazines, professional development & continuing education, etc.
  • Regulators – FDA, etc.
  • Media – TV news, magazines, etc.

Classically, there has been a variety of silos that keep these parties separated. The silos were further reinforced because each silo had its own vocabulary and position within a cultural hierarchy.

As specialists in open innovation, we can be helpful by demonstrating ways in which collaborative efforts can be realized. Collaboration is quite a challenge; it requires that each of us – wherever we fit in the overall network – has a responsibility for being sufficiently self-aware that our universe is much bigger than our immediate circle. We have a responsibility to learn the language of the networks around us and understand that the current relationships that exist between silos are not set in stone, but rather a reflection of our history. We can see the weaknesses in the current system and instead of finding fault, we can find ways to bring people together.

By behaving in small ways, and demonstrating collaboration we become the change that we wish to see.

Regardless of your political views on healthcare, there is opportunity for us each to help.

You can check out all of the ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles from the different contributing authors on ‘What product or sector is in desperate need of innovation?‘ by clicking the link in this sentence.


Mark RoserMark Roser has been working with companies internationally for over 12 years to identify new markets, clarify product & service growth opportunities and lead exploratory development programs. He can be reached at mark.roser*at*openinnovators.com

Leave a Reply