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/ 20/2/2018 Ten Types of Innovation Framework: Assessing Healthcare

It has been nearly 20-years since global innovation firm Doblin developed their ten types of innovation framework. We outline the model and use it to explore key themes in healthcare innovation.

Understanding the Framework

At the name suggests, the framework focuses on the ten main types of innovation. It’s a useful tool to evaluate and enhance innovation projects, or analyse competitors and markets trends.

The framework provides an underlying structure of what
does and doesn’t work. It is split into three colour-coded categories, with the types at the top being internally focussed. As you move towards the bottom, the types become increasingly obvious to end-users.

Smart organisations use multiple innovation models simultaneously to strengthen their proposition.


Analysing Innovation in Healthcare

Doctor-patient relationships are no longer the primary foundation of a patient’s experience. The onus of managing care choices is falling increasingly into the hands of patients and their expectations are high.

Many health providers are starting to adapt, prioritising and innovating their services. Policy and technology trends are shaping the market, but savvy providers are thinking broadly about the role brand will play in delivering value across the entire customer experience.


It’s All About Experience

Patients have always craved expertise, traditionally focussed on the quality of their doctor. But expectations have increased and the market is calling for an improved service across a broader range of channels. This includes well-designed environments, apps and other simple digital experiences to support decision making and access personalised advice.

One Medical has pushed the envelope with its use of technology and design. Their focus on virtual care – particularly their innovative patient-physician video-chat – is helping to improve experiences across the entire patient journey, whist helping to reduce costs.

Key trends in service innovation focus on enhanced personalisation and convenience. Services like Netflix are preconditioning us to expect personalised recommendations based on past behaviour.

Research confirms this expectation (, and despite widely held beliefs that people are wary about the security of their personal health record, a 2016 U.S. study revealed 88% of respondents were willing to share personal data to improve health outcomes. Similar research from Opinium mirrors this in the UK (

Simplicity lies at the heart of many innovations in customer engagement. Brands that are designing simple experiences, which add value to in-person visits, are creating indispensable patient interactions.

In America, CVS Health has done this exceptionally well. Their mobile app makes it easier for patients to adhere to medical advice, whilst leveraging personal information to deliver tailored care. The app offers discrete handling of interactions that involve sensitive topics, enabling patients to pick up prescriptions without having to reveal information audibly.

The theme of simplicity continues across many brand innovations. As healthcare systems consolidate, brands that want to be recognised will need to redefine their value propositions and brand architecture.
Optimal brand architecture strategies make it easy for consumers to navigate offerings and find the care they need at any point of their journey. Without this, many healthcare organisations will miss opportunities to communicate their value and grow market share.


Product Innovations

Customer experience is undoubtedly taking centre stage, but there’s still a wealth of innovation across medical product performance.

Physical-digital products like Confirm Rx, the world’s first smartphone-compatible insertable cardiac monitor (ICM), are utilising tech to empower patients.

The blood-draw process is being enhanced with the TAP (touch-activated phlebotomy) microneedle – a single-use device that uses 30 microneedles and a small vacuum to collect capillary blood almost pain-free.

Sleep technology company EarlySense has created the first contact-free fertility monitor. The device, known as the Percept, analyses the body’s signals whilst sleeping to predict ovulation cycles based on changes in vitals, highlighting the best days to try and get pregnant.


Configuration Innovations

The healthcare industry is wrestling with the continual challenges of affordability, accessibility and quality. As we embrace a broader concept of health and wellness, many organisations are expanding their workforce (structure) to include home caregivers, social workers, teachers, and others outside the medical profession.

The World Health Organization projects that by 2030, the shortage of global healthcare workers will exceed 14 million. Many process innovations are using technology to fill the gap, and we’ll see a growing use of AI and robotics to deliver care (or assist in delivery).

Approximately 30% of a hospital’s total budget is spent on supply chain activities. Network innovation is crucial to support financial sustainability, and hospitals are striving for more strategic control on managing their inventories.

The Carter Review suggests that in medicine cabinets, stockholding varies from 11-36 days. If all Trusts could reduce this to 15 days, it could save up to £50m.


Patients Are Consumers

Trends in healthcare are putting choice into the hands of consumers. In future, the most successful providers are likely to be those replicating consumer market trends – placing customer experience at the heart of their brand.


To learn more about Doblin's ‘ten types of innovation framework’, visit: