Accelerate In-House Innovation with a Subscription Partnership

By Ryan Kelly

At this very moment, someone on your frontline staff is pondering a really good idea for improving some aspect of healthcare. It could be a medical device. It could be a digital tool.

What will happen to that idea? Usually, the answer is nothing. Or the innovator will give it away to an industry rep. Next thing you know, your healthcare system is buying a product that one of your doctors invented.

At Innovation Lab, we believe great ideas and innovators are everywhere. And we believe that every healthcare system can benefit from a culture of innovation. That’s why we launched our Subscription Partnership program.

Since Innovation Lab’s founding, we’ve offered our innovation and commercialization services to health systems that were also our investor partners—which required an investment of $10 million or more—but we know that not every health system is looking to (or can afford to) make this kind of investment. So we decided to make our services available via a subscription model for systems that want to engender more innovation in their culture and empower their staff to bring their ideas forward.

How Does the Subscription Partnership Work?

First, we meet with your executive team and internal innovation champions. We ask questions like, “What are your innovation goals?” “What does success look like to you?” Every health system is at a specific stage of its journey toward becoming a true center of innovation, and we want to meet you where you are.

We’ll perform a growth and innovation scan to forecast profitable opportunities for your organization. Often, we discover innovations that have already been discussed and are just waiting for someone to develop them. We ask, “Can we plug these ideas into our development pipeline and quickly generate a win for you?”

These great ideas don’t always come from clinicians. For instance, maybe someone in your billing and coding department has devised a way to reduce errors by 15%. We identify the ideas with high commercialization potential and move them forward.

Then we custom-design a year of programming, events and services to meet your goals and match your budget. These could include educational sessions for staff that teach the basics of innovation or how IP works. We run design thinking workshops that encourage staff to define big problems in their field and brainstorm ways to solve them. Our hackathon and “Shark Tank”-style events are popular because they bring people together—and they really work.

Subscription Partnership vs. DIY Innovation Programs

We’ve done the math. On average, an Innovation Lab Subscription Partnership results in savings of 30% compared to having an in-house team.

Let’s say yours is a mid-sized health system with 10,000 employees. Building an effective innovation team requires hiring a minimum of four to five high-level staff members. You’ll need someone to serve as a program evangelist and speak with frontline staff to identify opportunities. You’ll need an experienced analyst to evaluate the market potential of proposals. You’ll need at least one product development expert. And you’ll need a specialist in intellectual property (IP) and commercialization.

Once you’ve assembled this team, they’ll need time to get the program off the ground. It can take years to build relationships, make industry connections and achieve real results.

Innovation Lab Subscription Partners get immediate access to all of this and more, including our in-Lab expertise, without the major investment—or the wait. We hit the ground running.

As a result, we can achieve a more rapid ROI. With our profit-sharing model, the proceeds from successful products are shared by the innovator, the health system and the Lab. Our team may also identify profitable service spinout opportunities that can be scaled up and adopted by other health systems, generating revenue and covering the cost of innovation.

Is the Subscription Partnership Program Right for You?

 No organization is too large or too small to benefit from our services. We can work with health systems with 50 employees or 50,000. Our largest partner has a workforce of 60,000. We’re looking for organizations of all sizes that genuinely want to bring innovation into their culture. Consider these questions:

  • Does your organization want to attract and retain creative, problem-solving clinicians, nurses and staff?
  • Have members of your staff brought ideas to administrators but hit a dead end because no one knew how to push those ideas forward?
  • Have you hesitated to support staff innovation projects because of the possible risks?
  • Have you considered starting an innovation program in house but decided the cost was prohibitive?
  • Are there gaps in your existing innovation program?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, let’s have a conversation. Innovation Lab has built a flexible, customized model that we’ve battle-tested at eight different health systems over the last eight years. No one else is getting products over the finish line like we are.


Email Melissa Goodwin to start your conversation about how we can work together.