Health Care and Medical Innovation

Request for Abstracts
Health Affairs issue on Innovation, early-2015
Submit abstracts no later than June 25, 2014 to
(see submission requirements below and visit see frequently asked questions)


Health Affairs is planning a theme issue on health care and medical innovation in early-2015. The issue will span the fields of medical technology and also cover public policy and private sector innovations that promote improvements in the delivery of care, lower costs, increase efficiency, etc. We plan to publish 15-20 peer-reviewed articles including research, analyses, and commentaries from leading researchers and scholars, analysts, industry experts, and health and health care stakeholders.


We invite interested authors to submit abstracts for consideration for this issue. Editors will review the abstracts and, for those that best fit our vision and goals, invite authors to submit papers for consideration for the issue.

In order to be considered, abstracts must be submitted by June 25, 2014. We regret that we will not be able to consider any abstracts submitted after that date.


The editors will evaluate submitted abstracts and, in July 2014, will invite authors of selected abstracts to submit their work for consideration for the issue. Invited papers will be due at the journal by September 2, 2014.

Following submission, invited papers will be subjected to peer review in September and October 2014, with revision beginning in October 2014 and running through December 2014. Copyediting and production for the issue will take place in January 2015, with publication scheduled for early-2015.

Overarching themes

We are interested in papers that offer insights on several broad questions and themes, including the following:

• The role of innovation and what it has meant in health care and medicine over the last several decades

• Factors that encourage, drive, or inhibit innovation

• Understanding and navigating approval processes and their role in approval: e.g., FDA, CMS, insurers, etc.

• Drivers of adoption and diffusion: e.g., physician prescription, hospital purchasing, patient adherence

• The varieties and dynamics of innovation

• What is happening in innovation and why? For example, in capital formation, standards of evidence by payers, FDA approval times

• How are innovations financed and paid for?

• Do we have/need a national innovation strategy?

Types of innovation

We would expect to see these themes explored in overarching or "framing" papers that take up the issues directly by way of analysis and review of a broad array of evidence, developments, and trends, as well as papers that illustrate or shed light on these and other themes using specific examples or case studies. Examples may come from:

• Products, such as drugs and devices

• Diagnostic tests, genomics, imaging modalities

• Care processes, such as ways to reduce hospital complications

• Delivery system changes

• IT systems and mobile health

Specific sample topics

Below is a list of sample topics/question that could form the basis for papers that address one or more of the broad themes outlined above. We invite authors to consider additional topics as long as they address or shed light on important policy issues or questions.

Framing or "big think" type topics:
• What is innovation: the concept of incremental innovation, dynamics of innovation, etc.?
• What has innovation meant in health care, medicine, in the last 30-50 years, what has worked, what has not worked, where we are going?
• Does the US face challenges/deficits in Innovation?
• How to de-adopt activities that are no longer innovative--example of the Choosing Wisely Campaign
• Taking capacity out of the system

• A look at the future of innovation

• Innovation outside the health care system that has impacted health--example, role of designers, engineers.

Pharmaceutical, biotech, diagnostics topics:

• Overview of the biotech industry
• Overview of diagnostic industry, including regulation and payment methods
• Where are the venture-backed health care successes occurring and why?
• Survey of venture capitalists for investing in life-sciences
• Relationship of payment systems and new technology
• Different models of investing; the role of Angel Investors and overcoming the "Valley of Death" between laboratory success and clinical trials
• Changes in ROI and the pharmaceutical industry since the 1980s
• Projections for funding
• The Life Cycle, ROI of new drugs
• Update on costs of bringing new drugs to market

Innovation and the public sector:
• How changing environment in government regulations and private insurance coverage decisions impacts capital formation for innovation
• FDA and CMS coverage decisions and new technology
• Cases that illustrate cross agency or cross sectoral collaboration, e.g., FDA, CMS, national societies, payers
• 21st Century Cures Legislation
• The role of the federal government in promoting and diffusing EHRs, HIT, and prospects for the future--how to use them for clinical information.
Innovations for payment and delivery system reform:
• New payment models, how to adjust payment methods to encourage adoption of high-value innovation
• Delivery system innovation
• Cost-sharing and innovation: how to encourage adherence to appropriate technology and/or discourage demand for unproven and ineffective technologies
• CMMI and State Innovation Models
• AHRQ's Horizon Scanning Project
Case studies:
• Case Study on Hepatitis C
• Innovations in surgery, robotic surgery

Patient-generated data, patient engagement:
• Innovation and patient decision making
• Will patient reported data be valuable, the role of wearables, remote monitoring, fit-bits etc.

Spurring and promoting innovation:
• How to build an innovation center, do technology transfers
• How to value academic discoveries
• Spreading innovation--"learning systems" market


Abstract submissions should not exceed 500 words, and should include (in this order): proposed title, author names and affiliations, abstract, name and contact information for the corresponding author below the abstract. Please consult our online guidelines for additional formatting instructions and answers to frequently asked questions:

If you wish to submit an abstract, please send it as an e-mail attachment to (note: there is an underscore between “abstracts” and “innovation”).

We thank you for your time and consideration. Please feel free to pass this invitation along to colleagues who might be interested, as well.

If you have questions about this request, please contact Senior Deputy Editor, Sarah Dine, at