Volltext-Downloads (blau) und Frontdoor-Views (grau)

Success factors for implementation of novel decentralized diagnostics: How publicly funded multidisciplinary innovation networks can disrupt German Healthcare

  • Mobile diagnostics – or mobile health in general – is highly appealing, not only for clinicians, but also for patients. It implies empowerment, in particular of those who are really in need, such as inhabitants of less developed regions within the world who have limited access to healthcare. It also implies simplification: Easy data management – a continuous flow of information. Therefore, development of miniaturized and highly integrated diagnostic systems allowing near patient “instant” diagnostics gain a lot of momentum since more than a decade. However, system integration requires time and a significant amount of investment. In addition, there is strong competition on resources from other emergent technologies, such as next generation sequencing which made the collection of e.g. human genome data less expensive and much faster. A more severe challenge is that mobile diagnostics require a change in healthcare management, e.g. towards integrated practice units. This, in turn, requires implementation of adequate reimbursement, standards of interoperability, training of staff, quality control. In 2010, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) launched the grant initiative Mobile Diagnostic Systems (MD, 2011─2015) as part of its high-tech strategy. MD aimed at generating knowledge on how microsystem technologies fit into German healthcare environments. On the basis of interviews with multidisciplinary MD actors, this thesis evaluated retrospectively how the publicly funded innovation network managed to overcome pre-defined external barriers of diffusion, including technology, regulatory affairs and market access. Retrospectives reveal internal barriers involving knowledge and technology transfer, negatively influencing generation of innovation. In particular, financing still represents a high hurdle for biotech innovators in Germany: Larger firms look predominately for market-ready or in-market technologies rather than prototypes and venture capitalists are rare or extremely risk-averse. Another important finding was, that actors involved were highly focused on individual work packages. This risks of not seeing the whole environment embedding MD. Consequently, potential opportunities may be missed, e.g. synergies with relatively close (DIALOC) or more distant initiatives (Global Health Delivery Project-based discussion rounds). This could be partly due to the fact that publicly funded networking activities provide less freedom-to-operate because of pre-defined milestones. In addition, further development of actors with respect to role playing (e.g. boundary spanning or innovation selling) is often not included in such “innovation packages”, but can help to maneuver change. Internal barriers need to be addressed first before targeting the major remaining external hurdle: Reimbursement. Although the latter was covered within MD, standardization of technology evaluation is still an unmet need which strongly influences the willingness-to-implement novel mobile diagnostics. Thus, the value added is to be demonstrated to justify adequate reimbursement. Achieving this goal can be successful, when innovation networking finds its path towards a common vision, e.g. towards value-based integrated healthcare. Pathfinding and visioning can be facilitated by process promoter with excellent network management capabilities. In addition, such a promoter could help to further develop engagement, openness and commitment of collaborators. Therefore, transfer of MD activities to established “top” networks or clusters is recommended for securing valuable knowledge generated. In this environment, an important next step – globalization of MD for ensuring future return on investment – could be triggered as well. Since MD innovation was found to involve both product and service innovation, maneuvering change is particularly challenging for small and medium sized enterprises. These could benefit from engagement in innovation networking. Findings of this case study can help all direct and indirect actors in the field of MD innovation or in other high complex environments to reconsider pathfinding as well as role playing in networking.

Export metadata

Additional Services

Search Google Scholar


Author:Merle Hanke
Advisor:Eva Kirner
Document Type:Master's Thesis
Year of Completion:2017
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Date of final exam:2017/02/28
Release Date:2017/06/13
Page Number:XIII, 77
Degree Program:EMBA - Executive Master of International Business Management
Open-Access-Status: Open Access 
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt