Posted on May 26, 2016

Importing Innovations: An Update from NEHI's Global Lab for Health

NEHI's Global Lab for Health has been working on a grant with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to identify and analyze the process for importing health innovations

We are excited to share an update from NEHI’s Global Lab initiative:

glThe Global Lab for Health (the Global Lab) was first established in 2013 to scan for high‐impact innovations that can reduce the cost of delivering health care. The Global Lab has developed a web portal, scanning service and methodology for vetting innovations for their true value. At NEHI, the Global Lab initiative serves to accelerate the adoption of innovations by helping key health sector stakeholders select high‐value innovations for implementation and dissemination. NEHI is currently halfway through our most recent Global Lab project, a one-year Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) grant titled, “Importing Global innovations to Improve Health in the United States and Supporting the Adaptations Necessary for Their Adoption.” 

Although valuable health innovations exist in other countries, these innovations have not been widely adopted in the United States. To address this, NEHI is working with RWJF to identify and analyze the process by which a health innovation moves successfully from its original form, where it was first invented or developed, to adoption and implementation in the United States. NEHI is developing a process map as a tool for both innovators and innovation adopters. The process map will illustrate how an innovation moves successfully from its country of origin to adoption and implementation in the U.S., and serves to guide stakeholders across all health sector groups in accelerating the adoption of high-value, globally-sourced innovations. 

Just a few weeks ago, NEHI’s Global Lab team convened an expert group of 24 U.S. and international innovators, delivery system executives, academic innovation centers, and foundations, including:

  • AARP Services, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Charlotte Yeh;
  • Ascension VP of Innovations, Scott Lambert;
  • Duke Medicine Associate Professor and Head of Global Innovation, Dr. Krishna Udayakumar;
  • The Health Foundation Director of Strategy, Jo Bibby;
  • Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs Trade Advisor for Health Care and Life Sciences, Erik Yves J Landriault; 
  • Oxfam Novib Institutional Accountmanager Nordic Donors, Hilde Eugelink; and,
  • UCLA Institute for Innovation in Health Director, Katherine Steinberg.

The meeting served as a forum to collaboratively review and revise the draft process map to reflect the values and experiences of the diverse audience that will utilize and benefit from this tool. Our day-long working session and discussion was incredibly rich, and provided immensely valuable insights into how we can fashion the process map into a tool that can benefit all health sector stakeholders. Participants noted that innovators and adopters must work with one another early on to ensure that the benefits and value proposition of a given innovation are apparent for all stakeholder groups at each stage of the adaptation and adoption processes. 

This project is reflective of NEHI’s core value of breaking down silos across health sector groups to speed the adoption of valuable innovations. At NEHI, we understand that innovation adoption processes cannot occur in insolation; cross-sector partnership, collaboration, and dialogue is essential for the successful creation, adaptation, implementation, and spread of valuable innovations.  We look forward to sharing the final process map in the coming months, and will enthusiastically continue to work with all of our members to forward our collective mission of improving health and health care in the U.S. through innovation.

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