The biomedical and healthcare supply chain has four components: (1) research and development creating (2) firms that sell and market to (3) providers and hospitals, who use it to treat (4) patients. Most doctors are content to use technologies and innovations on patients, the ultimate beneficiaries of innovation.
However, upstream from that, a research and development piece creates firms and companies to sell and market the ideas, discoveries and inventions. Increasingly, doctors are becoming involved in creating and contributing to the emergence of new ideas, with the consequent creation of wealth and value.
Practicing physicians can contribute several things to the innovation supply chain. First, they have a fundamental understanding of the problems that need to be solved in biomedicine. Second, they have many ideas about how to solve those problems. Finally, after release, physicians can plan an active role in post -market surveillance, provide sales and marketing business intelligence, and serve as an early warning system for adverse events.
Doctors should not just be on the receiving end of innovation. They should be actively involved in creating it in partnership with other innovation stakeholders like service providers and industry. Expecting them to stand downstream with open arms is an outdated model and should be discarded.