How do you define innovation? Part VI

by Justine Cadet on August 23, 2013

In preparation for Boston Children’s National Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards, we have asked thought leaders from beyond our walls to join our internal experts in a collaborative effort to define innovation from the perspective of pediatric researchers and caregivers. Add your voice to the comments, and register for our summit on Sept. 26-27 to join the conversation.

A new and unexpected idea, understanding, method or product that can be harnessed to solve a problem and improve our lives…It needs to go beyond an incremental advance – it should represent a “quantum leap.”
—Judy Lieberman, MD, PhD, chair of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital

A scientist seeks understanding.
An inventor seeks a solution.
An innovator seeks an application.
—Thomas Krummel, MD, program director, General Surgery Residency Program, Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine; Susan B. Ford Surgeon-in-Chief, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

Innovation is something that advances a scientific field forward in time. The greater the innovation, the greater leap forward. To determine how large a leap was made, you look at how long it would have taken the field to get to that same point if that scientist was never born to make his discovery. The extreme example would be Einstein. Without him, it probably would have taken the field of physics an extra 10 years to get to the current state of innovation.
—Robert D’Amato, MD, PhD, Judah Folkman Chair in Surgery, Director, Center for Macular Degeneration Research, Boston Children’s Hospital

Designed measurable change that is not obvious.
—Peter C. W. Kim, MD CM, PhD, a pediatric surgeon and scientist, is vice president of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

Innovation is the philosophy of questioning why we do what we do and asking if there is a better way. It is refusing to accept the status quo as inevitable but rather looking through our current approach to a problem into the essence of it to create better solutions.
—Anne Hansen, MD, MPH, medical director of Boston Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

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