Encouraging sustainable innovation in health

Linklaters commissioned the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London to conduct research on how sustainable innovation can be encouraged in the healthcare sector.

Spiralling costs and rising expectations risk crippling healthcare systems around the world.  In advanced economies, demand and cost pressures combine to drive spending upwards, consuming an ever greater share of national economies.  For emerging economies trying to build health systems comparable with the best in the world, the challenge is to invest in a way which prevents healthcare becoming a budgetary time bomb.

We surveyed healthcare businesses from advanced and emerging countries to learn more about how to drive cost-effective innovation and to understand better its potential effects on the future of the healthcare industry.  We found:

  • Although there are important external barriers, such as regulation and reimbursement mechanisms, companies can take specific and practical actions in order to encourage cost effective innovation.
  • Technology may enable cost-effective innovation, but it is seldom sufficient.  The most powerful innovations change business models, processes or ways of working.
  • Truly disruptive innovations are most likely to come from new entrants - especially using approaches from other industries. 
  • Emerging markets are a hotbed of cost-effective innovation.  They generate both opportunities and threats for incumbent healthcare businesses.
  • Leadership, and a supportive culture, will be critical to meeting the challenge of sustainable innovation

For more information about the report please contact Nigel Jones, Aisling Zarraga or Anna Mangiaracian