When Patients Become Innovators

MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring 2019

8 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2019

See all articles by Harold J. DeMonaco

Harold J. DeMonaco

Harvard University - Massachusetts General Hospital; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Pedro Oliveira

Copenhagen Business School; Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics

Andrew W. Torrance

University of Kansas - School of Law

Christiana von Hippel

University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health

Eric A. von Hippel

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

Patients are increasingly able to conceive and develop sophisticated medical devices and services to meet their own needs — often without any help from companies that produce or sell medical products. This “free” patient-driven innovation process enables them to benefit from important advances that are not commercially available. Patient innovation also can provide benefits to companies that produce and sell medical devices and services. For them, patient do-it-yourself efforts can be free R&D that informs and amplifies in-house development efforts. In this paper, we explain how and why the patient innovation system works, how patients can participate in it, and its benefits for both medical patients and firms.

Keywords: innovation, open innovation, patient innovation

Suggested Citation

DeMonaco, Harold J. and Oliveira, Pedro and Torrance, Andrew W. and von Hippel, Christiana and von Hippel, Eric, When Patients Become Innovators (February 2019). MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3355803

Harold J. DeMonaco

Harvard University - Massachusetts General Hospital ( email )

55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
United States

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Pedro Oliveira

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics ( email )

Palma de Cima
Lisboa, 1649-023
Portugal

Andrew W. Torrance

University of Kansas - School of Law ( email )

Green Hall
1535 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045-7577
United States

Christiana Von Hippel

University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health ( email )

50 University Hall #7360
Berkeley, CA 94720-7360
United States

Eric Von Hippel (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E62-455
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-7155 (Phone)
617-253-2660 (Fax)

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