We are seeing so many exciting products and services being developed that will shape the health sector, and beyond, in the years to come. Given that this is a global crisis, where we must think of the whole rather than the individual, we will all be able to benefit from these brilliant inventions.
Accordingly, there are increased funding opportunities for innovative research, projects, products and services that will help to ease the various health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID19 pandemic.
In the UK, for example, the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is offering to provide funding for short term projects that seek to address and mitigate these issues. The Economic and Social Research Committee of the UKRI is also looking to fund research projects looking at the short to medium term impacts.
These not only encourage significant finds in research but allow for a number of start-ups to develop and grow in these uncertain times. As well as businesses looking at how to diversify and assist in this fight, many individuals have also shown how innovative they are and developed helpful tools. For example, hands-free door openers and new masks and ventilators.
The pandemic has also led to an increase in open innovation and sharing, which can only be a good thing during this time. It also fits in with the way the world appeared to be moving before the pandemic - looking at how to effectively come together and deal with climate change for example.
However, this sharing needs to be carefully considered to ensure that this can be ended as soon as feasible (unless sharing is to be continued perpetually – which may not be a bad thing depending on what is being shared). For example, premature public sharing of patentable material will destroy the opportunity to obtain a patent.
The COVID19 pandemic really has confirmed that necessity is the mother of invention.
On the other side of this crisis, Gulati thinks that consumers will want to buy from companies that solve problems and actually innovate on the products themselves—not just the delivery system. That’s what some startups are trying to do.