How do you define innovation? Part V

by Justine Cadet on August 16, 2013

innovation box-purchased no creditThought leaders from beyond of the walls of Boston Children’s are coming together with our internal experts in a collaborative effort to define innovation from the larger clinical and scientific community. Add your voice to the comments—or register for our National Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards (Sept. 26-27) and join the conversation.


Innovation is putting creativity into practice; but is much more complex than it sounds, as it requires development of an idea, testing and validation of an idea, creation of a product or process and defining how that can impact (in health care) a patient, and then commercializing or implementing that idea or process within the appropriate institutional context. Innovation continues to be in action, ideally with review and improvements over time. It can be as simple as changing how a patient makes an appointment to building the next surgical robot.
—Craig A. Peters, MD, Chief, Division of Surgical Innovation, Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

Innovation is the development of a new approach or technology that represents a major shift in the way things are done or in the quality of performance, often resulting from the weaving together of past approaches - sometimes from entirely unrelated fields - that are combined in truly unique and novel ways.
—Donald Ingber, MD, PhD, member of the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, founding director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and Judah Folkman Professor in Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School

It is critical to define innovation in an active and practical sense. Innovation is not an idea, nor the creation of a prototype. Something can only be defined as innovative once it has achieved positive societal impact.
—Jeffrey M. Karp, PhD, Co-Director of Regenerative Therapeutics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Innovation involves finding a new way to better treat an old problem. Innovation at Boston Children’s means using the motivation provided by the patients we care for to find a better treatment for an important clinical problem, often in an unexpected way.
—Martha Meaney Murray, MD, Associate Professor in Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, Boston Children’s Hospital

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