Innovation to Diffusion - Towards successful deployment of eHealth applications

Dr. Karl Stroetmann of empirica GmbH presented initial considerations on the issues and challenges of moving " From Innovation to Diffusion - Towards successful deployment of eHealth applications" at the recent 2nd European Evaluation Methods Concertation Meeting in Brussels, Sept. 08, 2011.


Dr. Stroetmann described how it is not innovations such as the first appearance of a new product or service in the market, but rather that it is scaling up, as in diffusion across various markets, which is the decisive factor in assuring the competitiveness of our economies.  He emphasised that such considerations need to be employed for innovation and diffusion in health systems and services as well, where new evaluation and assessment methods are desperately required.  The focus needs to shift towards the information needs of various stakeholders and the benefits and costs involved for decision makers when introducing new, complex health services facilitated by advanced ICT systems.  Dr Stroetmann believes that Health Technology Assessment (HTA) methods have so far fallen short of meeting these complex needs. He argued that, unless the requirement for more integrated healthcare service processes is better understood and new HTA methods provide the information needed by the decision makers to prove their eHealth business models, attempts to advance innovations will fail to provide the urgently needed benefits for our health systems.


Innovation, and diffusion in particular, are also key matters for the attention of the EU-supported Thematic Network eHealth Innovation - Scaling up eHealth facilitated personalised health services. This network, of which empirica is a key partner, develops ideas for and supports the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing ( It explores how to achieve in the medium-term more patient/person-centred health services, supported and facilitated by enabling innovative eHealth solutions and services.