Potential Disruptive and Sustaining Innovations in Health Care

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The rapid development of medical technologies maintains the relevance of the concept of innovation in healthcare. Healthcare
innovations more often are perceived as 'disruptive innovations' and associated with technological innovation, artificial intelligence, biomedicine,
precision medicine and other medical developments. At the same time, the proposed medical technology does not always correspond to the nature
of ‘disruptive innovation', but receives support defined for this category of innovation in policy planning documents. The aim of this study is to
investigate the relevance of the term 'disruptive innovation' used in healthcare to its original nature and to draw conclusions on most appropriate
term. Within the framework of this research, the analysis of scientific literature and policy planning documents was performed. No specific medical
technologies were analysed, however, one of the directions of medical development defined in policy planning documents was chosen, which is
presented as ‘disruptive innovation’ - it is ‘precision medicine’. The analysis has shown that 'precision medicine' does not correspond to the initial
nature of the term 'disruptive innovation', which implies that disruptive innovation describes a process by which a product or service takes root
initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors. It
was concluded that precision medicine is mostly correspond with ‘sustaining innovation’ – both ‘continuous innovation (evolutionary)’ and
‘discontinuous innovation (revolutionary)’ – by improving existing products or services through technological developments or by creating entirely
new exclusive expensive solutions, which are not intended for widespread use at the bottom of a market. Consequently, it is proposed to use a more
appropriate term for innovations in medicine, for example by referring to 'precision medicine' as a 'sustaining innovation' and its evaluation as
sustaining innovation and longitude significant investment
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Scientific Conference 'New Challenges in Economic and Business Development – 2021: Post-Crisis Economy'
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
Place of PublicationRiga
PublisherUniversity of Latvia
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-9934-18-689-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event13th International scientific conference "New Challenges in Economic and Business Development – 2021: Post-Crisis Economy" - Riga, Latvia
Duration: 14 May 202114 May 2021
Conference number: 13


Conference13th International scientific conference "New Challenges in Economic and Business Development – 2021: Post-Crisis Economy"
Internet address


  • disruptive innovations, sustaining innovations, healthcare

Field of Science*

  • 5.2 Economy and Business
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.2. Articles or chapters in other proceedings other than those included in 3.1., with an ISBN or ISSN code


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