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Understanding healthcare innovation systems: the Stockholm region case

Understanding healthcare innovation systems: the Stockholm region case

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  Biowebspin, October 25th, 2016

Understanding healthcare innovation systems: the Stockholm region case

by Lisa-Marie Larisch, Isis Amer-Wåhlin, Patrik Hidefjäll, in Journal of Health Organization and Management, 2016

Purpose
There is an increasing interest in understanding how innovation processes can address current challenges in healthcare. The purpose of this case study was to analyze the wider socio-economic context and conditions for such innovation processes in the Stockholm region, using the functional dynamics approach to innovation systems (ISs).

Design/methodology/approach
The analysis is based on triangulation using data from 16 in-depth interviews, two workshops and additional documents. Using the functional dynamics approach, critical structural and functional components of the healthcare innovation system were analyzed.

Findings
The analysis revealed several mechanisms blocking innovation processes such as fragmentation, lack of clear leadership, as well as insufficient involvement of patients and healthcare professionals. Further, innovation is expected to occur linearly as a result of research. Restrictive rules for collaboration with industry, reimbursement and procurement mechanisms limit entrepreneurial experimentation, commercialization and spread of innovations.

Research limitations/implications
In this study we analyzed how certain functions of the functional dynamics approach to innovation systems related to each other. We grouped knowledge creation, resource mobilization and legitimacy as they jointly constitute conditions for needs articulation and entrepreneurial experimentation. The economic effects of entrepreneurial experimentation and needs articulation are mainly determined by the stage of market formation and existence of positive externalities.

Originality/value
This study is the first to provide an analysis of the system of innovation in healthcare using a functional dynamics approach, which has evolved as a tool for public policy making. A better understanding of ISs in general, and in healthcare in particular, may provide the basis for designing and evaluating innovation policy.

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