Professor Lehoux believes that the direction taken by technological innovation in health depends largely on venture capital and speculative financial market rules. Those who develop innovations must target major markets like the US market, and demonstrate that their company can support rapid growth. We end up with very expensive technology that healthcare systems often struggle to integrate and that respond poorly to the most pressing health needs. The objective of her research program is to elucidate new ways to design, finance and manufacture innovations. These new ways of doing things emerge in different places in the world and have one thing in common: the desire to leave the limitations imposed by “Economic ROI above all” thinking.
For the next seven years, this funding will allow Professor Lehoux, holder of University of Montreal’s Chair on responsible innovation in Health and founder of Hinnovic, an independent blog dedicated to the analysis of health innovations, to work on issues that have been dear to heart for a long time and that are really important, not only in terms of public health but also from the point of view of innovation support policies. She has assembled a team of international caliber to make giant leaps on what is responsible innovation in health and on ways to promote its development and sustainability in health care systems.
The research team will examine in Quebec, Ontario, France and Brazil how financing strategies that simultaneously pursue economic and social performance (impact investing) allow companies based on social entrepreneurship to develop and deliver to the market socially responsible goods and services in such areas as adolescent health, chronic diseases and aging. The need for innovations that promote the involvement and empowerment of patients is large and it is fertile ground for rethinking the links between the economy and public health.