Empowering patients to innovate: the case of patient Innovation

Pedro Oliveira, Salomé Azevedo, Helena Canhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Recent research shows that many patients and caregivers develop innovative solutions to cope with their health disorders. Nevertheless, this innovation presents low diffusion. We use a two-stage approach to discuss three research questions: Do these individuals play a role in health innovation? What are their motivations? Could an online, free-access platform promote patient-driven innovations diffusion? We discuss these questions through 11 case studies focusing on innovations by patients and caregivers. Consequently, we analyse data from www.patient-innovation.com, an online platform for innovation sharing. The concept of patient innovation is a good example of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). The European Union endorses it and would like to implement and generalize the concept. The objective is to assess implications and societal expectations with regard to research and innovation, and foster the design of inclusive and sustainable research and innovation. A discussion on how Patient Innovation can contribute to RRI in healthcare ends this chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResponsible Innovation in Digital Health
EditorsTatiana Iakovleva, Elin M. Oftedal, John Bessant
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Limited
ISBN (Electronic)9781788975063
ISBN (Print)9781788975056
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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    Oliveira, P., Azevedo, S., & Canhao, H. (2019). Empowering patients to innovate: the case of patient Innovation. In T. Iakovleva, E. M. Oftedal, & J. Bessant (Eds.), Responsible Innovation in Digital Health (pp. 42-55). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788975063.00011