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The modern healthcare system has been built to diagnose and treat disease. As a result, great achievements have been made for billions of patients over the past decades. At the same time our healthcare system shows its limits, when it comes to challenges such as the growing aging popu-lation and the prevention, treatment and management of non-communicable disease, complex and chronic conditions as well as mental illness. This leads to rising costs, growing inequalities and an overload of the current healthcare system.  

To face these challenges, we believe that a paradigm shift is needed. Instead of only focusing on disease we must turn around our perspective and focus on maintaining health, underpinned by a deep understanding of what it means to be healthy, both for the individual and on a population level.  What do people need to thrive in their health? And what serves them best to do so? This concept is not new and has been framed as P4 Medicine: Participatory, Preventive, Predictive and Personalized. The implementation of P4 Medicine, however, has been slow, if at all.


The emergence and wide adoption of digital technologies by the citizen facilitates this paradigm

shift. However, to unleash its full potential, the innovation process in the biomedical field needs to

be revised. Rather than engineering from lab to bedside, the individual should be at the starting

point and even in the driving seat of the innovation process.

Exploring this new frontier, what we call the human centered health innovation, implies a more holistic understanding of the health/disease continuum which gives way to a new breed of solutions providing outcomes which are relevant to the people. This also means to broaden the scope of health and healthcare, beyond medical interventions, including the social, environmental, and economic determinants of health.


What we experience is a change in expectation, behavior, and culture towards health, strongly driven by the development and extensive use of digital technologies and data science. The paradigm shift towards a human-centered approach in healthcare will not only require a broader view on health but also and most of all, new ways of exploring, organizing, and implementing innovation. This re-invention will have to happen on ecosystem level, including all stakeholders, shaping the common ground on which new, human-centered approaches and solutions can emerge.

The IHCHI Innovation Community is open to people who share this vision and are willing to bring in their insights, skills, and know-how. Together we investigate, explore as well as act on the pursuit towards a human centered approach to health innovation. To succeed we believe that the colla-boration between different disciplines as well as cultural, professional, and demographic back-grounds will be crucial. 

Participate, become a member, make a donation 

IHCHI supports and encourages new thinking, ideas, concepts, and solutions that fall within the following three aspects of human-centered health innovation:


  • Amplifying the extent to which people and their needs drive the innovation process, including efforts to ensure that traditionally neglected voices are heard and involved

  • Empowering people to engage in their health and that of society, including disease prevention

  • A holistic consideration of health that goes beyond disease-free status and focuses on what it means to thrive


Read more: The IHCHI position paper on what do we mean by human-centered health innovation

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