Archive for the Tag 'collaboration'

Mayo Clinic’s Collaborative Innovation Process

Point: Collaboration between doctors, patients, designers and lab technicians brings healthcare delivery breakthroughs.

Story: The inspiring origins of the Mayo Clinic illustrate the timelessness of collaborative innovation. Back in the 1880s, two brothers, Will and Charles Mayo, founded the clinic with their father, Dr. William Worrall Mayo, and introduced the concept of a group practice.  The Mayos sought medical breakthroughs by bringing together doctors, laboratory experts, and business people. As the younger Will Mayo said, “In order that the sick may have the benefit of advancing knowledge, a union of forces is necessary.”

Today, we have the fruits of many medical breakthroughs but need better ways to deliver the breakthroughs in efficient and effective ways.   Many chronic diseases, like diabetes, can be treated but depend on more than just a one-shot procedure in a doctor’s office or hospital.  For these conditions, healthcare delivery requires education and engagement between doctors and patients.  The quest for new breakthroughs in healthcare delivery calls for a new round of collaborative innovation, embodied by the Mayo Clinic’s SPARC unit.

The Mayo Clinic uses SPARC to develop new services for patients.  SPARC stands for See, Plan, Act, Refine, Communicate.  Mayo believes in a fast prototyping approach: a crossfunctional team of doctors, industrial designers, patient education experts, facilities people and financial analysts work together to create new ideas and test them in the “Hub.” The collaboration includes some of the usual healthcare and research leaders, like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, University of Minnesota, MIT, Yale, and GE Healthcare.  But it also attracts collaborators from industry, such as IDEO, Best Buy, Steelcase, Microsoft, and Cisco.

The Hub creates reconfigurable prototypes of patient check-in counters and examination rooms. The team that develops a new service can observe the prototypes in action through glass and via video.  “We take research out of the laboratory and translate it in a very quick and meaningful way right to the patient’s bedside,” said Dr. Glen Forbes, CEO of Mayo’s Rochester, MN campus. “That takes a lot of collaboration, because you’re crossing cultures and you’re often times crossing a lot of internal organization structures and silos.”

Most crucially, the Mayo Clinic engages patients to accelerate innovation.  “Our patients have a long history of participating in our research and education endeavors,” says Barbara Spurrier, Administrative Director, Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation.  The Mayo uses ethnographic techniques to analyze the quality of doctor-patient interactions, survey patients for their impressions, and talk to patient’s families.  Human-centered design thinking ensures that the innovations aren’t just technically correct, they deliver higher quality of life for patients.

Action:

  • Find a gap between technology and society, such as the gap between the capabilities of a technology (e.g., a medical treatment) and the delivery of that technology (e.g., a patient’s compliance)
  • Recruit collaborators from both the technology side and the people side to bridge the gap
  • Create tangible and testable examples of innovations through visualization, modeling and rapid prototyping
  • Use both hard science and soft science methods to gain both objective and subjective feedback for further innovations

For more information:

Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation Partnerships

Leonard Berry and Kent Seltman, Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic: Inside One of the World’s Most Admired Service Organizations, 2008

Evan Rosen, The Culture of Collaboration: Maximizing the Time, Talent and Tools to Create Value in the Global Economy, 2009

Glenn S. Forbes, M.D.

Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota partnership

No Comments »Case study, CEO, How-to, Innovation, open innovation, Strategy

How Boston Scientific Accelerates Innovation

Point: Capture, share and reuse knowledge to make R&D engineers more productive

Story:

At Power to Innovate 2009, Boston Scientific’s Randy Schiestl (VP of R&D) and Jude Currier (Cardiovascular Knowledge Management & Innovation Practices Lead) described how Boston Scientific is redesigning its innovation processes. The goal: to accelerate time to market, increase the productivity of innovators, and reduce costs and risks.

Boston Scientific is an $8 billion company committed to delivering innovative medical technologies that improve the quality of patient care as well as healthcare productivity. The company has a broad portfolio of 13,000 products. The new products in its pipeline include drug coated stents, bare metal stents, catheter and bio-absorbable technology.

In the past, Boston Scientific drove innovation from business strategy to technology development to product development. In this staged approach, engineers created technology-driven products that were then shown to business units and customers at the prototype stage. The trouble with this process was that the later groups often found gaps or risks in the proposed product late in the product development process. As a result, the company had to spend more money than expected putting out fires while trying to hold to a launch schedule.  Boston Scientific decided to change its innovation process to bring more knowledge and resources into the earlier stages of innovation.

As part of the new innovation process, Boston Scientific began bringing in key “voices” into the innovation process earlier. By getting these voices — the voice of the customer, the voice of the business unit, and the voice of regulatory bodies — earlier, the company uncovered its knowledge gaps and risks much sooner. The second part of Boston Scientific’s innovation process redesign gave employees access and pointers to relevant information, whether that information resided in a document or in the tacit knowledge of an expert. The goal here was to reduce the amount of time engineers spend looking for knowledge. Schiestl said engineers spend 30% of their time looking for relavant knowledge. To improve upon that, Boston Scientific used Goldfire (innovation software from Invention Machine) to capture, share and reuse knowledge.  Goldfire’s semantic technology automatically categorizes concepts can and ties relevant intelligence to specific innovation initiatives. For example, engineers used Goldfire to identify past research and then validate whether that research could be repurposed. The result: Boston Scientific engineers who used Goldfire spent only 10 percent of their time researching intelligence, compared to 20-30 percent by non-Goldfire users.

Boston Scientific’s new innovation process illustrates what Mark Atkins, CEO of Invention Machine, called an innovation intelligence ecosystem.  This ecosystem represents the aggregate of information, communities, and processes that collectively contribute to innovation. Here’s how it works: using innovation software like Invention Machine’s Goldfire, companies capture and reuse information and intellectual capital created by employees as well as by external sources. Goldfire further enables collaboration by accurately reconstructing a user’s past thinking and research process, making it visible and explicit to other users. Employees avoid reinventing or duplicating research already done, thus saving time and improving innovation productivity.

Boston Scientific shared two examples of its success using Goldfire and the company’s new innovation processes. First, the company improved the design of cardiac stents to reduce a patient’s injury-response to the device. By combining knowledge from across the innovation ecosystem, the company mapped key clinical knowledge about heart disease and how different heart artery conditions affect the patient outcomes with different stent designs.

In the second example, Boston Scientific used Goldfire to solve a technical problem in manufacturing that was reducing product yields.  Using Goldfire, Boston Scientific found that previously undocumented thermocapillary effects were leading to clogged spray nozzles. By understanding the physics of the cause, Boston Scientific was able to make a simple change to the manufacturing line to eliminate the clogging and thereby improve yields.

Action:

  • Uncover all the “voices” that have a say in the success of innovations (the voice of the customer, voice of technologists, voice of manufacturing, voice of regulatory compliance, etc.).  Connect key people and communities in a more collaborative, sharing-oriented environment
  • Identify, organize, and access information (internal and external) needed by these communities to do their innovation-related work.
  • Develop knowledge and innovation processes that find and resolve knowledge gaps or risks early in the innovation process.

No Comments »Case study, How-to, Innovation, New Product Development, Productivity, R&D, Software tool, Strategy

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