Responsible Innovation in Digital Health
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Responsible Innovation in Digital Health

Empowering the Patient

Edited by Tatiana Iakovleva, Elin M. Oftedal and John Bessant

Powerful new approaches and advances in medical systems drive increasingly high expectations for healthcare providers internationally. The form of digital healthcare – a suite of new technologies offering significant benefits in cost and quality – allow institutions to keep pace with society’s needs. This book covers the need for responsible innovation in this area, exploring the issues of implementation as well as potential negative consequences to ensure digital healthcare delivers for the benefit of all stakeholders.
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Chapter 4: Empowering patients to innovate: the case of Patient Innovation

Pedro Oliveira, Salomé Azevedo and Helena Canhão


Recent research shows that many patients and caregivers develop innovative solutions to cope with their health disorders. Nevertheless, this innovation presents low diffusion. We use a two-stage approach to discuss three research questions: Do these individuals play a role in health innovation? What are their motivations? Could an online, free-access platform promote patient-driven innovations diffusion? We discuss these questions through 11 case studies focusing on innovations by patients and caregivers. Consequently, we analyse data from, an online platform for innovation sharing. The concept of patient innovation is a good example of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). The European Union endorses it and would like to implement and generalize the concept. The objective is to assess implications and societal expectations with regard to research and innovation, and foster the design of inclusive and sustainable research and innovation. A discussion on how Patient Innovation can contribute to RRI in healthcare ends this chapter.

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