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What is the ‘Innovation Crunch’?

This is the point where innovation stalls; where structural issues mean sheer effort, grit, and money aren’t enough anymore to make meaningful progress. For a start-up, it’s where the uptake of their innovation dries up no matter how much effort is expended. For an investor, it’s when an exciting prospect appears to plateau unexpectedly and then consider down rounds. For health systems, it’s when technology has to be selected but the criteria are unclear or when it has been deployed but people just aren’t using it. Different factors experience an innovation crunch in different ways, but it’s always around progress slowing down to a crawl.

Why is it so important to avoid an ‘innovation crunch’?

We face the greatest workforce challenge in the history of modern healthcare and also have to consider population health and health equity while keeping costs down. We cannot navigate a sustainable way out of this crisis while doing what we’ve always done.

Innovation is the answer, and we’ve never needed it in healthcare as much as we do today, but it is harder than ever before to select or scale it.

What causes it?

The ‘innovation crunch’ stems from many factors. For those looking for new innovation, there are often too many to consider, so much noise, and not enough differentiation or robust evidence for their claims. Investors are trying to pick the winners, but it’s not always clear who will win and who will stall. There’s also not enough investment capital for all. Most innovators need to achieve considerable scale to escape endless rounds of capital investment, but this isn’t possible if health systems aren’t in a position to expose and validate their needs so start-ups can align. ​

How do we escape the Innovation Crunch?

The simple answer is that we need momentum so we can push through these barriers; we need ‘innovation velocity’. This helps us get unstuck when progress slows, to ensure that start-ups scale, investors win, and healthcare systems succeed.

How does Vita generate ‘Innovation Velocity’?

Vita developed a systematic, repeatable methodology for innovation adoption and scale. We then built a bespoke suite of tools for start-ups, investors, and health systems. These range from diagnostics, such as evidence reviews, to workshops, such as on aligning product strategy to health system priorities, to meeting buyers to understand.

Hassan Chaudhury

Consulting Director

Hassan is a Consulting Director at Vita Healthcare Solutions, Commercial Consultant for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Strategy Lead for the Source Group, and Global Digital Health Specialist for Healthcare UK at the Department for International Trade, with a global role advising commercial teams in over 100 UK embassies as well as innovators, health systems and governments.

His background is in social work, informatics, NHS commissioning and public health. Currently, Hassan mentors at the NHS Innovation Accelerator, KQ Labs at The Francis Crick Institute and SimDH at London South Bank University. He is an Editorial Board Member of the International Journal of Digital Health, a member of both the HIMSS Innovation Committee and The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Healthcare Sector Exec Committee, Co-Chair of the Diversity Interest Group of the PM Society and also holds an Honorary Research post at Imperial College London.

Dr Pramod Prabhakaran MBBCS MRCPsych

Independent Healthcare Consultant

Pramod has 20 years experience in clinical, educational and leadership roles in the UK, currently practicing as a Consultant Psychiatrist specialised in adult and elderly psychological and cognitive health.

Currently Pramod heads International Business Development at Imperial College Health Partners, brining together world leading academic and healthcare organisations. Prior to his current role, Pramod was Medical Director for a large portfolio of mental health and community services in North West and Central London, responsible for quality, service transformation and clinical leadership of acquisition.

Pramod has considerable global healthcare knowledge and expertise, having clinically practiced in the UK, UAE and Australia, as well as led collaborative projects with countries in the Middle East and China.

Omar Learbuch Butt

Healthcare Innovation Consultant and Co-Founder

Omar is a Healthcare Innovation Consultant and Co-Founder at Vita Healthcare Solutions, as well as Innovation Account Lead at Imperial College Health Partners.

After over a decade in the healthcare sector, working in various innovation and market access roles, Omar is focused on supporting institutes to shape innovation strategy or adoption. He has developed and manages an ecosystem, to nurture and accelerate life sciences related innovation to commercialisation, ensuring it is aligned with market preferences for rapid spread and adoption with impact.

With a wealth of commercial experience in innovation, and now a deep. understanding of the dynamics of healthcare system innovation and adoption, he has, with his co-founders, established and validated a systemic approach to market access and adoption.