Researching open innovation in healthcare

Research presentation at the 16th International Conference on Perspectives in Business Informatics Research

On August 30 we presented a peer-reviewed research paper we have written presenting the results from a publicly funded international research project. Our research concerned open innovation in healthcare with a paper named Engaging with Openness Through Common(s) Ground: Healthcare Innovation in the Networked Society and was presented at the 16th International Conference on Business Informatics Research held at Aalborg University’s Campus in Copenhagen.

The research team consisted of myself representing KPMG along with professor Pär Ågerfalk from Uppsala University in Sweden plus professor Mark Aakhus and Kanika Samra from Rutgers University in the USA.

Me and professor Ågerfalk at the conference.

Project and methodology
The project was aimed at investigating future use of open innovation in the healthcare industry. In the first phase of the project we conducted an analysis of more than 300 hospital innovation centers in the United States to evaluate their use of open innovation. We found that most of them (180) were mainly focusing on internal/closed innovation. 150 of the innovation centers utilized a hybrid model incorporating an internal innovation approach with external (open) influences, and merely two had an exclusively open focus. These results argued for better understanding of the value of open innovation and its utilization.

So then we conducted a workshop with a number of healthcare representatives for which we developed a foresight model to understand the future context in which healthcare will function. As a first step we presented all the macro megatrends that will influence our future, such as the growth of the population, the urbanization, the aging population, the increase in mobility, the redistribution of economics, digitization, and so on. Secondly we workshoped on how these factors would influence healthcare in 15 years. This step gave us a pretty interesting picture of the expected future of healthcare. We then had a thorough presentation of open innovation and conducted a workshop in scenario planning where we envisioned concrete scenarios taking place in this expected future with a flavor of open innovation. At the end of the workshop we had a fully-fledged image of situations that may occur in healthcare in 2030 and the environment they are taking place in. These results are highly valuable when planning for future healthcare implementations, be they IT system, the constructions of new hospital buildings, or anything in between.

Some of the results that we present in our article are:

  1. The importance of personal health data ownership when the amount increases.
  2. The increased importance of personal connections and trust in healthcare when population increases and thus the general Joe gets more anonymous.
  3. The omnipresence of sensors and connected devices providing us with increased possiblities of health analytics.
  4. Consequencely an omnipresent health system may be able to predict emergencies and prevent them through certain proactive actions.
  5. In the new pro-amateuristic reality skills can be evaluated differently and first-level support may be provided by others than medical personnel when appropriate. Health advice and support may be valued in a different way in the “shareconomy”.
  6. Hospitals may not be the institutions they are today. Health may be provided more “onsite”.

The article
If you would wish to read the entire research article it can be found in the publication by Springer found here: