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Involving Patients in Research? Responsible Research and Innovation in Small- and Medium-Sized European Health Care Enterprises*

  • KALYPSO IORDANOU
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.

Abstract:

Health research is generally undertaken to resolve existing health problems or enhance existing solutions. Research ethics committees have been the main governance tool for research for more than half a century. Their role is to ensure that research is undertaken ethically. To close the increasing gap between science and society, other governance tools are required. The European Commission recommends and actively promotes the policy of responsible research and innovation (RRI). In addition to sound research ethics, a key feature of RRI is the involvement of different societal stakeholders throughout the research process.

But how accepted is the involvement of societal stakeholders in the research of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the health care sector? This question is examined based on 18 in-depth interviews with private health care industry representatives from across Europe in companies focusing on developing medical device technology. Findings suggest that SMEs are reluctant to undertake research involving patients, especially in the early stages of the research and innovation process. For some SMEs this is due to concerns about the dangers of raising expectations they cannot meet, while for others the main concerns are increasing costs and producing less competitive products. Implications of the research findings are discussed.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Footnotes

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Thanks to Julie Cook and Doris Schroeder for editorial input. Thanks to Malcolm Fisk and Alexander Auer for their help in data collection.

*

The funding information was omitted from the original version of this article published online and in print in the January 2019 issue of Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. This information has now been added and an addendum has been published.

Footnotes

References

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Notes

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19. See note 9, European Commission 2014 Jun 28.

20. See note 15, Clancy, Collins 2010:37cm18.

21. See note 16, Concannon et al. 2012:985–91.

22. See note 17, Kaye et al. 2012:371–6.

23. See note 18, Chatfield et al. 2017b:971.

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25. See note 2, Alberts et al. 2014:5773–7.

26. Auer, A, Jarmai, K. Implementing responsible research and innovation practices in SMEs: Insights into drivers and barriers from the Austrian medical device sector. Sustainability; 2017 Dec 22;10(1):17.

Thanks to Julie Cook and Doris Schroeder for editorial input. Thanks to Malcolm Fisk and Alexander Auer for their help in data collection.

* The funding information was omitted from the original version of this article published online and in print in the January 2019 issue of Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. This information has now been added and an addendum has been published.

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A correction has been issued for this article: