Health care innovation is considered essential for meeting the challenge of providing affordable high quality health care for an ageing population with rising rates of chronic disease. Improving the speed at which effective and affordable health care technologies are developed and diffused is critical. There are a number of reports comparing how different countries perform in relation to their health care innovation capacity, i.e. their capabilities for adopting innovative solutions developed elsewhere and for originating innovations themselves. A tool that enables countries to be compared on a range of innovation indicators would: a) focus attention on the relative performance of the UK (or any other country's) health system, pinpointing its strengths and weaknesses, identifying bottlenecks and issues for attention; and b) help medical technology and life sciences companies by providing an understanding of the attractiveness of each country's health system as a market for products, as a source of innovations, and as a location for R&D.
In order to develop a health care innovation index, the PIRU team worked with colleagues from Imperial College Business School who developed the methodology for the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), which uses data from over 120 countries on entrepreneurial attitudes, aspirations and activity to provide a detailed cross-national index. The aim is to provide a health care version of the GEDI.