Drivers and Hindrances to Med-Tech Innovation: A device's guide to the Swedish healthcare galaxy

  • Datum: 12 juni, kl. 13.15
  • Plats: Hörsal 2, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Wagrell, Sofia
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Företagsekonomiska institutionen
  • Kontaktperson: Wagrell, Sofia
  • Disputation


Today, the expectations on new medical technology solutions are substantial. On the one hand, healthcare policy expects new technologies both to improve the quality of people’s life and to reduce the burgeoning healthcare costs. On the other hand, innovation policy expects new med-tech solutions to stimulate economic growth, with large emphasis on the production of new solutions. However, despite the growing importance of med-tech innovations it is cumbersome to embed these innovative promising products into use in the Swedish healthcare sector.

This thesis investigates med-tech innovation by following a microwave-based device in the treatment of the common disease BPH, Benign Prostatic Enlargement. This is an empirically based longitudinal study where the microwave device is used as a probe to capture a med-tech innovation journey. We follow the device through the efforts of technological and scientific development, through complex industrial production structures and foremost inits struggles to achieve widespread use in Swedish public healthcare.

This study identifies a number of hindrances and drivers and, importantly, how they are interconnected in the innovation process. By applying the different settings of development, production and use of this device, a central finding is that the very same mechanisms can have contradicting effects in the different settings. Moreover, what functions as a trigger to innovation during development, can become later a hindrance to use. The study also shows that, whereas drivers prevail over hindrances in the development and production of med-tech solutions, hindrances clearly prevail in their use, which involves the provision of healthcare services. Not only has the use setting a generally weak financial support, but its organisational structures and regulations do also have a negative impact on the spread of new solutions in healthcare.