The healthcare industry has long relied on traditional, linear models of innovation – basic and applied research followed by development and commercialization. While this “lab-bench to bedside” approach has improved healthcare globally, it can take years, even decades, for an innovation to get to market, often with limited input from patients themselves. The results can be technically sound, but sub-optimal from the patient’s standpoint (as any woman who has endured a painful mammogram understands).
An alternative emerging at healthcare institutions worldwide is human-centered design and co-creation, a set of approaches that can accelerate and humanize healthcare innovation, report researchers Yasser Bhatti, Jacqueline del Castillo, Kristian Olson and Ara Darzi in the Harvard Business Review. This model isn’t just about getting greater patient feedback during the innovation process. Patients are co-designers, co-developers, and increasingly more responsible for their own and collective health outcomes.