A review of innovation strategies and processes to improve access to AT: Looking ahead to open innovation ecosystems

Catherine Holloway, Vicki Austin, Malcolm MacLachlan, Rainer Kattel, Giulia Barbareschi, Felipe Ramos Barajas, Dr Ben Oldfrey, Joanne McVeigh, Priya Morjaria, Tigmanshu Bhatnagar, George Torrens, Dafne Zuleima Morgado Ramirez, Jessica Massie, Ikenna D. Ebuenyi, Fiona Meeks, Kyle Keane, Cheryl D Metcalf, Srinivasan Sujatha, P. V. M. Rao
Aug. 16, 2021

It is essential to understand the strategies and processes which are deployed currently across the Assistive Technology (AT) space toward measuring innovation. The main aim of this paper is to identify functional innovation strategies and processes which are being or can be deployed in the AT space to increase access to AT globally. We conducted a scoping review of innovation strategies and processes in peer-reviewed literature databases and complemented this by identifying case studies demonstrating innovation strategies. The review includes WHO world region, publication year, AT type and a sector analysis against the Systems-Market for Assistive and Related Technologies Framework. We analyzed the case studies and interviews using thematic analysis. We included 91 papers out of 3,127 after review along with 72 case studies. Our results showed that product innovations were more prevalent than provision or supply innovations across papers and case studies. Case studies yielded two themes: open innovation (OI); radical and disruptive innovation. Financial instruments which encourage OI are needed and we recommend pursuing OI for AT innovation. Embedding AT within larger societal missions will be key to success governments and investors need to understand what AT is and their translational socioeconomic value.