Table of contents (Vol 6, No 1)
EDITORIAL

Innovating for general practice
 

This editorial considers the challenge of innovation for healthcare from three perspectives: the general practitioner (GP), the patient and the policy maker. The knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of each, respectively, are likely to affect the type of innovation adopted in practice. Each stakeholder has priorities and needs that must be reflected in the design and implementation of innovations.

Picture by Alex E. Proimos

By Moyez Jiwa

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Five questions to ask mobile application developers
 

There are many questions that can assist in understanding and comparing proposals from different developers. Some are obvious, and can easily be understood by people with no experience in software development – what are the timeframes, how experienced are the developers, what hourly rate is being proposed, what guarantees are involved, who owns the final product, and so on. But in the case of mobile software, the author makes the case that there are other important questions that relate to the core DNA of an application.

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By James Angus White

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Health innovation: the investor’s perspective
 

Medicine is unique. The social good can sometimes outweigh the profit motive. However, in no way does this preclude commercial rigour from being applied. The authors suggests that investors  may be  more than happy to lend their experience and are not out to steal your idea. If you are concerned about equity, remember that a little piece of something big is better than no piece at all.

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By Robbie Adams

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RESEARCH

Taking the Stairs Instead: The impact of workplace design standards on health promotion strategies
 

The health promotion figures suggest that there is a growing problem of sedentary behaviour for office workers. When combined with increasing working hours and labour-saving technologies such as electronic document transfer, we are faced with a serious health crisis for our workforce. The design of workplace buildings, and particularly the design of vertical movement paths through lifts and stairs, is promoting sedentary behaviour in contradiction to health promotion initiatives.

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By Sarah Mcgann

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REVIEW

Health care innovation: Working with General Practitioners
 

Involving practitioners on research projects may be facilitated by extrinsic incentives such as realistic recompense for time commitment and intrinsic incentives including a focus on topics of significant relevance to the clinical setting. To maintain a responsive network of clinicians it is paramount to deploy support staff who consistently deliver on promises. Pitching a research project to a time poor clinician who already has lots of remunerated work, warrants clarity, brevity and practice.

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By Moyez Jiwa

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Health promotion innovation in primary health care
 

This paper provides an argument for training primary health care (PHC) practitioners in health promotion, while encouraging them to embrace innovation within their practice to streamline the treatment process and improve patient outcomes. Electronic modes of communication, education and training are now commonplace in many medical practices. The PHC sector has a small window of opportunity in which to become leaders within the current model of continuity of care by establishing their role as innovators in the prevention, treatment and management of disease.

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By Alexandra McManus

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Innovating alongside designers
 

Industrial designers focus on ensuring that both the functional and emotional needs of mainstream users as well as technical-expert-users are met. Design research provides the opportunity to bridge the gap between the functional requirements and the less tangible unmet needs of the user by exploring authentic human behaviour. This paper presents case studies of collaborative, interdisciplinary teams employing human-centred design and empathic research strategies (incorporating shared language, collaboration, ethnography, empathy and empathic modelling) to create real solutions that are responding to real needs of real users. The future is interdisciplinary. The future is bright.

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By Deana McDonagh, Joyce Thomas

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Everything a Medical Innovator needs to know about Software Development
 

Software development is hard enough for specialist software companies to get right. For people outside the industry it can be a minefield full of hidden surprises. This articles explains why software development is so hard, how to go about approaching a software development project, and how to get the best out of any collaboration with a development team. It should be read by anyone who is considering developing a software product, including websites, from a non-development.

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By Marcus Holmes

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Health innovation in cardiovascular diseases
 

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite efforts to tackle CVD, its prevalence continues to escalate in almost every country. The problem requires an exploration of novel ways to uncover solutions. Health innovations that embrace new knowledge and technology possess the potential to revolutionize the management of CVD. Using findings from published studies on CVD, researchers generated innovations in the areas of global risk assessment, home and remote monitoring and bedside testing. The use of pharmacogenetics and methods to support lifestyle changes represent other potential topics for innovations.

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By Su May Liew, Adina Abdullah, Nurdiana Abdullah, Yook Chin Chia

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Health innovation in improving patient safety
 

Medication error has been identified as a major factor affecting patient safety. Many innovative efforts such as Computerised Physician Order Entry (CPOE), a Pharmacy Information System, automated dispensing machines and Point of Administration Systems have been carried out with the aim of improving medication safety. However, areas remain that require urgent attention. One main area will be the lack of continuity of care due to the breakdown of communication between multiple healthcare providers.

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By Renukha Sellappans, Siew Siang Chua, Nur Amani Ahmad Tajuddin, Pauline Siew Mei Lai

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EMPATHIC DESIGN: RESEARCH STRATEGIES
 

This paper explores the role of empathy within new product development from the perspective of human-centred design. The authors have developed a range of empathic design tools and strategies that help to identify authentic human needs.

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By Joyce Thomas, Deana McDonagh

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SHARED LANGUAGE: TOWARDS MORE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
 

Developing and nurturing a shared language is an essential element to enhance communication and collaboration whether it is simply between partners or across the larger community of business and customers. Constant awareness and education is required to maintain the shared language. We are living in an increasingly smaller global community. Business and research collaboration are built on relationships. The authors argue that if you invest in developing shared language, your relationships and your business will thrive.

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By Joyce Thomas, Deana McDonagh

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BOOK REVIEW

Book review
 

DR-TB drugs under the microscope; Sentinel Chickens.

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By P Ravi Shankar, Nisha Jha, Alexandra McManus

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