Research Stream 2: Understanding the challenge of adopting frugal innovations
Objective: To investigate organisational, technical, cultural and cognitive barriers to the adoption of frugal innovation in the NHS.
1. Adoption and acceptability of frugal innovations in the NHS - NHS staff and patient perceptions
In our previous research, using a very robust experimental design called an individually randomized cross-over controlled study, we examined whether the source of a research article impacts on how clinicians rate it. We found that changing the origin of the research article from a high- to a low-income country negatively impacted on how clinicians viewed it. Using a method called an Implicit Association Test, used to measure unconscious biases, we have similarly showed that people tend to associate high-income countries with good research and low-income countries with bad research. Our research was published in Health Affairs and Globalization and Health.
Scaling frugal innovations from low-income countries into high-income countries (reverse innovation) is therefore challenging because of how people perceive these contexts. We continue this research by exploring the concept of acceptability for frugal innovations, and investigate how NHS staff and patients perceive these. This research forms the basis to a PhD project and our findings will help us identify barriers to the adoption and acceptance of frugal and reverse innovations in the NHS.
2. Using reading list analysis to understand regional emphasis in teaching global health in higher education
Findings from a small number of reading list analyses show that articles from Western Europe and North America are strongly favored compared to articles from countries outside of those regions, which may be overlooked or ignored entirely. This “geographic bias” may reinforce a marginalization of research and knowledge from countries outside of Western Europe and North America and make spreading and scaling innovations from these contexts more challenging. In this PhD research project, we have created a data extraction tool in collaboration with the Imperial College Central Library that, on a large scale, can automatically obtain geographic information for each author of each citation on a reading list. It allows course instructors to efficiently determine whether they could consider diversifying their teaching materials. The reading list analyses have already generated an appetite for constructive conversations and debates. We provide half-day workshops with the Educational Development Unit, to discuss issues surrounding diversity, inclusion, knowledge hierarchies and decolonisation.
Our research examining the impact of geographic bias on knowledge diffusion has been published in the journal Research Integrity and Peer Review.
Our research examining the development and impact of a reading list tool that analyses the geographic origin in courses in Imperial College London has been published in The London Review of Education,
Our research detailing the way reading lists can be converted into machine-readable code has been published in Scientometrics.