Posts Tagged ‘definition’

Defining innovation

Everybody talks about innovation these days, but do various people mean/see the same thing?

While a general definition might be easier to agree upon, when it comes to specifics, various producers and users of innovation could have quite different views. Thus while working together or when seeking to satisfy someone else’s need for innovation, it might be smart to begin by asking the simple, yet essential question: what qualifies a specific product or process as innovative for you?

Let’s take medical advances, an area that can have such a tremendous impact on our lives. Life sciences and medical practice make advances every day, but would a scientist, a medical product developer, and a patient use the same criteria when assessing something as a medical innovation? My own experience of being any and all of the above indicates “no”. For instance, a new way of approaching a medical problem means innovation to a scientist, producing the new version of the currently available treatment is considered innovative by a pharmaceutical developer, but the patient will likely expect a type of treatment not previously available or at least one with some termendous advantages in terms of risk/benefits ratio or possibly ease of use. What does life science/medical innovation mean to you?

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