Harvard Business Review

The Harvard Contest That’s Trying to Improve Health Care Delivery

By Richard Hamermesh, Robert Huckman, Barbara McNeil, Joseph Newhouse, and Cara Sterling

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Consumers snapped up more than 700 million iPhones in the first eight years the devices were produced. By comparison, a new health care practice can take 10 to 20 years to go from development to widespread adoption. These statistics beg the question of why innovation is so slow in health care, an industry so needing reform.

Harvard recognized that the problem was not a lack of innovation, but a lack of adoption of innovation. To encourage a change, Harvard hosted an ingenious “scale up” competition. Read about the Health Acceleration Challenge — 487 applicants from both for-profit and not-for-profit companies in 29 different countries presented ideas and predicted their potential impact. All of the projects stirred new thinking in health care. Learn what they proposed.