Feb 28, 2012

Necessity is the mother of Innovation (Continued)

A quick post about the article Can Medical Innovation in Developing Countries Disrupt the U.S. Healthcare System?:
While American and European healthcare are characterized by high costs and government regulations, the industry in Asia is booming and producing cost-effective equipment to serve millions.
Western firms have become somewhat complacent in their operating models:
Many U.S. companies have become comfortable operating in a system in which top-of-the-line technologies are reimbursed at premium prices and patients are accustomed to [receiving] "the best," regardless of price," the firm notes in its report, 'Smaller, Faster, Cheaper: The Future of Medical Technology.'
The markets in developing countries are becoming large enough to support innovation:
According to The Economist, medical technology sales in China should reach US$43 billion by 2019, and over US$10 billion in India. And according to a report on global healthcare innovation by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), China has shown the strongest improvement in innovative capacity in the last five years, and its healthcare industry will nearly reach parity with Europe by the end of the decade. 
Once they develop low cost innovative products, new players are likely to target western markets and compete for the business.
There is actually enormous amount of innovation at the bottom of the market," Christensen says. The challenge that lies ahead is whether companies in developing countries can scale up their products to meet global demands.
Firms in developing nations have to be innovative out of necessity.  As we have discussed in the past (here and here), necessity is the mother of innovation.  Western R&D managers should be thinking about new challenges they can pose for their R&D teams so that they can also become innovative.

Some interesting examples of innovation in the paper...

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