Lately, the term “health innovation” has been spread widely in the mainstream press. But what are we really talking about? Innovation in the etymological sense is a change that brings novelty.

According to the French Ministry of Health, health innovation has three fields :

  • The field most commonly considered is the one of medical innovation relating to therapies and diagnosis.
  • Next comes the one related to the technological area that can create disruption. We currently talk a lot about artificial intelligence or big data.
  • Last but not least, we have the field related to organization and impacts on people.

We can then talk about social or societal innovation, because it contributes to a profound and change in practices in society.

Technology has almost always an impact on people and organizations. It is up to the decision-makers and project leaders to integrate the necessary dimension of accompanying change.

Accompanying health innovation means ensuring a “holistic and systemic approach” that fully integrates the process, the health professionals, physicians and users, and is open to the patient experience.

  • How is this new service or new app really used? How many target people are using it? How deeply?
  • The best technological solution is vain whether it does not meet its users and propose them added value.
  • In order to achieve a health innovation that is truly user-friendly, it is more than relevant to set up, from the earliest stages of its design tools and devices involving users, whether they are professionals or health workers, health actors and / or citizens.

The living labs are emblematic of this usage-oriented approach, by promoting the round-trip between the designer and the end user throughout the life cycle of innovation, by maximizing the co-design approach.