Regional strategy

The importance of a regional strategy in healthcare innovation

Transformation in healthcare as driver for innovation

In recent years, the context of the Western healthcare system has transformed, with new roles being created for both professionals and consumers. In the North Sea Region (NSR), significant changes have been made to the structure of health-insurance systems. The most radical changes include the (part) privatisation of hospitals and the introduction of new types of health-insurance policies.

We have also seen the introduction of Triple Aim and the debate on performance in healthcare has become more and more focused on shared values, i.e. innovative products and services that render both economic and societal value. As well as this, Michael Porter introduced value-based healthcare—a concept that insists all activity in healthcare processes should add value for the patient or consumer.

These changes have empowered healthcare providers, professionals and consumers to make their own choices. Consumers choose the type of care and the services they want, even deciding what they are willing to pay for. Healthcare providers compete through specialisation and concentration strategies, as well as customer-experience strategies. And the current ecosystem has enabled new healthcare providers to enter the market.

When redesigning healthcare funding, policymakers expected the changes to stimulate the development of innovative products, services and technology from the inside out—as opposed to traditional developments that are conducted by tech or service companies not in the healthcare sector. However, because the transformation has happened at the same time as the datafication of healthcare, innovations have mostly come from outside vested companies and start-ups. The expected acceleration of innovation from inside healthcare has actually been marginal and innovations have lacked a proper co-creation process.