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Just as in other modern industries, the term ‘innovation’ in healthcare has become associated with new developments in the field that allow for improvements in solving problems, in this instance, healthcare problems. This paper seeks to clarify what the term truly means. To address this issue, we first define innovation as a general term, then define what innovation means in the context of the healthcare industry. To better understand what may be considered ‘innovative’ in healthcare, we suggest criteria for innovation and identify potential challenges to newly introduced innovations in the field.


‘Innovation’ denotes new, better, more effective ways of solving problems. Adopted from the business, technology, and marketing industries, the term has been used to describe policies, systems, technologies, ideas, services, and products that provide solutions to existing healthcare problems. With many dynamic methods and approaches available, the word ‘innovative’ has bee

n coined as a buzzword in the field of healthcare. What has been absent from discussions around innovation is a clear, common understanding of what the term means. A clear definition is necessary because lack of consensus acts as a barrier to bringing innovation to clinical practice. Due to a lack of clarity and consistency, the term ‘innovation’ has been frequently used inappropriately to describe different developments within healthcare.

This paper explores what it means to be innovative, how innovation can be understood in the context of healthcare, and how ‘health innovation’ affects our understanding of developments in the field, particularly in improving healthcare. By defining what innovation is and what it is not, this paper will help clarify the notion of innovation in healthcare.

What do we mean by Innovation in Healthcare? - European Medical Journal (

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