Innovations by and for Patients, and Their Place in the Future Health Care System

  • Leid ZejnilovićEmail author
  • Pedro Oliveira
  • Helena Canhão


The innovation management literature recently brought forward an important, but largely ignored role that patients have in health care—as a source of important new solutions for medical care. Several studies have documented health-related innovations made by lay people, specifically the phenomenon of patient innovation and its potential to improve patient well-being and the health care system. In this paper we synthesize the extant findings of patient innovation research, and explore the current limits of patient innovation, including its value and impact. In particular, we discuss the implications that the phenomenon may have on health care systems and the value that society may harness from innovative patients. We use insights from a multiple case study to address barriers to patient innovation—solution development and diffusion—and elaborate on ways to improve it. We further explore patient innovation and its role in future health care by looking into three unique initiatives that aim to facilitate interactions among patients and improve social welfare.


Patient innovation Innovation activity Collaboration Solution sharing Patient involvement Innovation in health care Portugal 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leid Zejnilović
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pedro Oliveira
    • 1
  • Helena Canhão
    • 1
  1. 1.Catolica-Lisbon School of Business and EconomicsLisbonPortugal

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