In Fieri | For Responsible Innovation in Health

Uploaded by Pascale Lehoux on 05 February 2020
Last modified on 19 June 2020



From 01/01/2016 to 01/01/2023

The goal of IN FIERI is to generate and share new knowledge on the design, financing and commercialization of Responsible Innovation in Health (RIH). It offers opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees to engage in transdisciplinary research geared at solving healthcare system challenges.

An international research programme that catalyzes research at the interface of health services research, medicine, engineering, design, ethics, sociology, economics and public policy.

Why? - While many innovations have the potential to cater to the social determinants of health and to generate greater system-level benefits, established business models and financial dynamics limit their emergence.

For instance, what business model should a venture that develops cyber-therapies for patients afflicted by mental illnesses adopt? Who is the key “client”? Who will pay for its use? And how can this venture prove economically viable and offer services to those who are in need?

What? - Scholars of responsible innovation recognize that entrepreneurs may deliberately design technological solutions of greater social value. When applied to medical technologies, it emphasizes the importance of user-centered design and of technologies that are ethically and socially responsive to the context of adoption. By doing so, it brings forward the system-level purposes of innovation (affordability, relevance, sustainability, equity, etc.).

How? - Our empirical research will focus on adolescent health, chronic care and ageing, which are areas where new technology-based products and services may enable self-care, increase patient autonomy and address system-level challenges. Comparative and longitudinal case studies of ventures located in Brazil, France, Quebec and Ontario will be conducted.

The IN FIERI programme is structured around 3 research streams.

1. The design of RIH

  • To clarify what RIH is and what it is not, considering system-level needs and challenges
  • To elicit with clinical leaders, designers, engineers and technology developers the processes and products of RIH
  • To analyse how patients, caregivers, clinicians and healthcare managers may participate to the co-design of RIH

2. The emergence and contribution of RIH

  • To elicit the way alternative business models, social entrepreneurship and social finance support the design and commercialization of responsible health technologies
  • To analyze how clinicians, healthcare managers, patients, caregivers and policymakers perceive the contribution of RIH to healthcare systems

3. The institutionalization of RIH

  • To examine how the design, financing and commercialization of RIH interface with existing policy mechanisms in the innovation pathway, including regulatory approval, health technology assessment, reimbursement and procurement.








  • RIH Screening & Assessment Tool - to help decision-makers identify whether an innovation fulfills RIH requirements, the project has developed and validated an evidence-informed assessment tool



Lysanne Rivard & Pascale Lehoux (2019): When desirability and feasibility go hand in hand: innovators’ perspectives on what is and is not responsible innovation in health, Journal of Responsible Innovation

--> By analyzing the practical insights of health innovators on what is and is not responsible innovation in health, this paper demonstrates how they consider both the desirability and feasibility of responsibility features when contemplating their operationalization

Lehoux, P., Daudelin, G., Denis, J.-L., Gauthier, P., Hagemeister, N. (2019). Pourquoi et comment sont conçues des innovations responsables ? Résultats d’une méta-ethnographie. Revue d’économie et de management de l’innovation.

--> To generate an empirically-grounded model of why and how responsible innovations are produced, this paper provides a synthesis of 17 qualitative studies describing the development of responsible innovations that have an incidence on the determinants of health.

Lehoux, P., Roncarolo, F., Silva, H.P., Boivin, A., Denis, J.-L., Hébert, R. (2019). What health system challenges should responsible innovation in health address? Insights from an international scoping review. International Journal of Health Policy and Management.

--> To identify the challenges that responsible innovation in health should seek to address, this papers presents the findings of a synthesis of 254 articles that examined the challenges of health systems in 99 countries.

Silva, H. P., Lehoux, P., & Hagemeister, N. (2018). Developing a tool to assess responsibility in health innovation: Results from an international delphi study. Health Policy and Technology.

--> This paper shows how an international panel of experts contributed to the development of a Responsible Innovation in Health (RIH) screening and assessment Tool.

Lehoux, P., Pacifico Silva, H., Pozelli Sabio, R., & Roncarolo, F. (2018). The Unexplored Contribution of Responsible Innovation in Health to Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability, 10(11), 4015.

--> With the help of empirical examples, this paper explores the relationships Responsible Innovation in Health (RIH) may entertain with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Silva, H.P., Lehoux, P., Miller, F.A., Denis, J.-L. (2018). Introducing responsible innovation in health: a policy-oriented framework, Health Research Policy and Systems, doi: 10.1186/s12961-018-0362-5

--> This article introduces an integrative RIH framework drawing on the RRI literature, the international literature on health systems as well as specific bodies of knowledge that shed light on key dimensions of health innovations.

Lehoux, P., Grimard, D. (2018). When robots care: Public deliberations on how technology and humans may support independent living for older adults, Social Science & Medicine, doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.06.038

--> Drawing on a prospective public deliberation study, this article offers sociological insights into the ways in which members of the public reason around assistive actions, be they performed by humans, machines or both.

Roncarolo, F., Boivin, A., Denis, J.-L., Hébert, R., Lehoux, P. (2017). What do we know about the needs and challenges of health systems? A scoping review of the international literature, BMC Health Services Research, doi: 10.1186/s12913-017-2585-5

--> This article looks at what kind of research was conducted on Health System challenges, where it was performed, in which health sectors and on which populations. It also identifies the types of challenge that were most present and how they varied across countries

Lehoux, P., Miller, F.A., Grimard, D., Gauthier, P. (2017). Anticipating health innovations in 2030–2040: Where does responsibility lie for the publics?, Public Understanding of Science, doi: 10.1177/0963662517725715

--> This article examines how members of the public conceive of the relationship between responsibility and prospective health technologies.

Lehoux, P., Daudelin, G., Denis, J.-L., Miller F.A. (2017). A Concurrent Analysis of Three Institutions that Transform Health Technology-Based Ventures: Economic Policy, Capital Investment, and Market Approval, Review of Policy Research, doi: 10.1111/ropr.12246

--> This article examines the rules that characterize economic policy, capital investment, and regulatory approval as well as the way these institutions enable and constrain the development of ventures at an early stage.

Lehoux, P., Miller, F.A., Daudelin, G., Denis, J.L. (2017). Providing value to new health technology: the early contribution of entrepreneurs, investors, and regulatory agencies, Int J Health Policy Manag, doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2017.11

--> The goal of this paper is to clarify how entrepreneurs, investors, and regulatory agencies influence the value of emerging health technologies.

Demers-Payette, O., Lehoux, P., Daudelin, G. (2016). Responsible research and innovation: a productive model for the future of medical innovation, Journal of Responsible Innovation, doi: 10.1080/23299460.2016.1256659

--> This article seeks to deepen our understanding of the responsible research and innovation (RRI) approach as it relates to health care systems, where the notion of responsibility is already deeply embedded.

This 7-year research program is funded through the highly competitive, newly established Foundation Scheme of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Pascale Lehoux is known for her ability to engage into path-breaking research. Her career has been shaped by industrial design, which fosters the creative envisioning and pragmatic appraisal of the way technologies fulfill “real world” user needs.

Our research team includes academics from Canada, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Brazil and catalyzes research at the interface of health services research, medicine, engineering, design, ethics, sociology, economics and public policy.

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