Reverse innovation in global health systems: Call for papers


Can health innovations designed for a developing country setting be applied in a developed country setting? Is it time for developed countries to learn from the lessons of developing countries? How can we move away from the synthetic barriers to progress and the boundaries associated with being developed and developing countries? A thematic series to be published in Globalization and Health sets out to explore the phenomenon of “reverse innovation” in healthcare, and whether rapidly evolving systems in low-income countries are capable of generating solutions for contemporary health system challenges in middle and high-income countries.

A recently published review in Globalization and Health provides an overview of the existing literature in this area. Using the six WHO health system components as a frame of reference, the paper identifies areas where developed countries have the most to learn from the developing world. However, there is limited evidence on any actual ‘benefits’ accrued to health systems in high-income countries from such innovations. The potential for international institutional partnerships to provide a channel for the realization of these benefits is also unconfirmed.

With this series, we aim to move beyond the narrow constraints of traditional thinking to promote learning that challenges and rethinks traditional practice within global systems. The thematic series will focus primarily on innovations in low-income countries and their applicability to middle and high-income settings.

We are soliciting papers of a practical nature and expect articles to span all six WHO health systems components. We welcome submissions that explore both potential and actual benefits that can flow from health systems in low-income to middle and high-income countries. We also welcome perspectives on how institutional partnerships can provide a channel for “reverse innovation”. Finally, we welcome insights and best practices on the measurement of “benefits” and how they impact health systems.

A framework for submissions is available. Submissions should follow the general instructions for submitting manuscripts outlined at the Globalization and Health website: Manuscripts will be reviewed using the Globalization and Health peer review process.

Deadline for submission is 31 January 2013. Publication date for this thematic series is anticipated to be mid-2013.

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