Our understanding of medicine is being revolutionised by the pace of science. But not all the potential innovations in life sciences and medical technology are taken up into everyday practice in healthcare, even when they are shown to be beneficial.
In the more advanced health systems there is a disconnection between the effort on research and development (R&D) and how much of this makes it into mainstream healthcare practice. Even the most evidence-based and affordable innovations can fail or are only taken up patchily, whether we compare across countries, or between localities or health organisations within countries. Technological innovation can be a problem for those responsible for paying for health systems. New technologies often increase costs because they allow us to treat more people for a longer part of their lives.
Yet the general view amongst politicians, managers and others involved in healthcare is that health systems across the world need new thinking. They are increasingly facing escalating demand from an ageing population and the growing incidence of chronic disease. Healthcare is consuming an ever-increasing share of gross domestic product (GDP). The search is on for ways of providing the best quality healthcare as affordably as possible.
This report discusses the fundamentals of innovation towards creating a global healthcare innovation index. Conclusions have been drawn from national systems of innovation and healthcare in emerging countries. This study also provides a summary of key lessons learnt.