The biomedicine roadmap is the outcome of a series of co-creation workshops with biotechnology companies in Spain and interviews with senior staff of healthcare technology companies in the United Kingdom, Austria, Cyprus, Spain, and Slovenia. All the companies involved were in the business of researching and designing technologies or services for people living with different health conditions.
The workshops and interviews guided participants to reflect on key ethical issues that relate to responsible innovation. These helped to contextualise and provided a good indication of current concerns. Issues of high relevance exploring the extent to which responsible innovation is being practiced in the industry and the barriers for its further development were identified. Also, the role of technologies and how both ‘technology push’ (from some manufacturers and suppliers of healthcare technologies) and ‘consumer pull’ factors (as more and more people seek to access health services with the aid of technologies) were influencing the sector were discussed.
The biomedicine roadmap points to some fundamentals considered as vital for companies involved in the sector. Some of these fundamentals are hardly surprising, but there is a need for such initiatives to take greater account of user (patient) perspectives.
This relates to the ethical imperative of care and to recognise the need to afford greater choice for people in managing their health (and their access to technologies that help them do this). Such issues are noted as impacting on the designs of products (e.g. ‘safe by design’) and service configurations whereby users (patients) are empowered. It follows then, that the roadmap requires companies to have and implement appropriate codes of practice that help to embed an appropriate service ethos – and that related technologies are designed to support this.
Associated with all of these issues is the necessity of (a) a heightened readiness among companies to respond to the changing demographic and public health agendas; and (b) maintaining links with users (patients and/or healthcare professionals) so that they are sensitised to their needs and aspirations. Both (a) and (b) link, of course, with the notion of ‘responsibility’ within ‘responsible innovation’.
Responsible Innovation COMPASS
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