Articles & Case Studies by Industry


How Revera Senior Living Tackles the Challenges of Aging Collaboratively

Learn how Revera Senior Living approaches innovation in aging internally and externally. From involving residents in the business to running internal idea challenges to partnering with young tech companies, Revera’s team seeks to innovate aging by engaging the full spectrum of the senior living ecosystem.

25 Corporate Innovation Hubs in London: An Annotated Map

London remains one of the world’s thriving financial centers. Explore our interactive map to see the key players in the ecosystem, from corporate innovation labs to venture capital to accelerators run by organizations like Visa, Barclays, Johnson & Johnson, and the BBC.

Podcast Episode: Innovators vs. the Rulebook. Who Wins?

Innovation can be difficult at any company. However, highly regulated industries with a thick rule book — both internally and from the government — face more roadblocks along the innovation journey. In this episode of Innovation Answered, we ask, “How do you make innovation happen in a highly regulated industry?” Guests share perspectives from Cambia Health Solutions, American Express, and Planbox.

AI in Healthcare: CEOs of Philips, GE Healthcare, Siemens Healthineers Talk Strategy

This year’s World Medical Innovation Forum gathered healthcare professionals together in Boston to discuss how artificial intelligence can change the industry. Read highlights from a conversation with CEOs from GE Healthcare, Philips, and Siemens Healthineers approach AI at their companies.

Podcast: Inside the Mind of Clay Christensen

Podcast Host Kaitlin Milliken sits down with Innovation Leader’s Editor Scott Kirsner to discuss his coverage of Clay Christensen. During the discussion, they explore the meaning of disruption, barriers to innovation at large companies, and industries that are ripe for change. Clips from interviews with Christensen are played throughout. Listen to the full episode or read the transcript.

How a Global Network of Innovators Impacted the Culture at Pfizer

“Building an innovation culture is easier said than done,” writes Daniel Seewald, Head of Worldwide Innovation at Pfizer. “And large companies routinely see their culture programs launch and then vanish within a couple of years.” Seewald shares how Pfizer created and honed a global program called “Dare to Try,” and the organizational impact it has had so far.

Leveraging the Power of Crowds to Enhance Design Thinking

Crowdsourcing should take place before a design session, contends Pfizer exec Daniel Seewald. In fact, it can be the difference between a mediocre session and a high impact one. Seewald explains the three ways that crowdsourcing can be helpful…

IL Master Class: Does Measurement Kill Innovation?

In our recent Master Class on innovation metrics, we explored topics including the difference between “activity metrics” and “impact metrics,” where to start, and how to evolve your measurement regime over time. The session was hosted by Mariko O’Neill, Managing Consultant at PA Consulting, with guest speakers Dan Seewald of Pfizer and Rick Waldron, formerly at Nike and Intel. Webcast replay inside…

How the Cleveland Clinic Sifts Ideas — and Spins Out New Ventures

With more than 52,000 employees generating about 300 inventions a year, the Cleveland Clinic doesn’t want for innovation. But the tough task facing Cleveland Clinic Innovations, a group founded in 2000, is to help as many of those inventions as possible find their way into the healthcare system. Executive Director Pete O’Neill explains how they do it…

How a New Lab at Mass General Hospital is Spurring Internal Innovation and Working with Startups

Julia Jackson, the Managing Director of Mass General’s Healthcare Transformation Lab, explains the three pillars of what the lab works on, as well as the importance of having “boots on the ground.”

Photo Gallery: Healthcare Deep Dive

At our recent, day-long Healthcare Deep Dive event, co-hosted by PA Consulting Group, executives gathered in Boston to discuss topics related to testing and scaling new ideas in the healthcare industry.

Webcast Replay: Advice on Piloting and Scaling New Ideas in Healthcare

Few industries are as regulated, as quality-oriented, and as populated by busy professionals as healthcare. So how do you make time to source, evaluate, pilot, and scale new ideas? How do you set the right metrics and milestones, and kill projects that aren’t hitting them? Leaders from Anthem, Pulse@MassChallenge, and Boston Children’s Hospital share their advice in this recent webcast….

How Bayer is Cultivating an Ecosystem of Consumer Health Startups

More than a century after patenting Aspirin, Bayer is investing in new ecosystem engagement initiatives, like its G4A programs, to discover potential partnerships with players and startups outside its walls.

Putting Emerging Technologies to the Test in a 12,000-Employee Hospital System

How do you innovate in an environment where everyone is busy, and everything is legitimately an emergency? John Halamka, Chief Information Officer for Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a practicing emergency room physician, shares his advice on bringing new technologies into a large healthcare organization — and discusses some of the projects he has worked on recently with Amazon and Google.

Healthcare Innovation — Case Studies from the Leading Edge

Healthcare organizations are an extremely challenging and complex environment for innovation. But the need for them to innovate has never been more intense — whether in response to new entrants, changing customer behaviors, cost pressures, or shifting reimbursement paradigms. Our latest in-depth research report explores how the world’s leading healthcare companies have set up new innovation initiatives that are delivering tangible results.

GE VP: ‘The Way We Sold in the Past Isn’t Going to Work in the Future’

When most large companies use the word “innovation,” they’re talking about new products, services, technologies, or business models. Changing how they sell is often the last thing they mean. GE Vice President Cate Gutowski thinks that’s a big mistake. She explains inside…

Startups, Stat! How Johns Hopkins is Turning Doctors into Entrepreneurs

Within Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Technology Innovation Center serves as a hub for budding innovators, helping them build, deploy, and test clinical solutions for the company. Here’s how it works…

Office Hours, Part II: Clay Christensen on Healthcare Innovation Challenges and Organizing R&D Teams

Part two of a three-part web series covering our interview with Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen, who published his influential book “The Innovator’s Dilemma” two decades ago. Christensen answers questions posed by IL members.

How Beckman Coulter, Maker of Lab Instruments, is Letting the Voice of the Customer Drive Innovation

VP of Clinical Informatics Wido Menhardt talks to Innovation Leader about getting his company to take the cloud seriously; how Beckman Coulter uses employee hackathons to explore new technologies, languages, and platforms; and letting the voice of the customer drive innovation.

Video: Pfizer’s Wendy Mayer on Creating Transformative Change in Large Organizations

Wendy Mayer, VP of Strategy at Pfizer, explains the need to separate incremental innovation work from transformational efforts; why its important to have “a framework and a process to guide you”; and how you demonstrate value and get senior leadership buy-in. Short video inside…

Slides: How One Company Thinks About Innovation Structures, Investment Levels, Timeframes

Two slides lay out the way David Crean of Anthem’s Innovation Studio views the different innovation options, or “flavors of innovation,” that a company might pursue. Each one has different levels of risk, different funding requirements, and different potential outcomes.

Video: Healthcare Exec Robin Glasco on ‘Going Where the Love Is’

Robin Glasco of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts says that in business school, you’re taught to focus on areas with the biggest problems and toughest challenges. For internal innovation groups like hers, though, that isn’t always the smartest first move.

At Medtronic’s Applied Innovation Lab, Working Closely with Business Units and Going Global

The Applied Innovation Lab opened its doors in September 2015, with a goal of helping Medtronic evolve from being simply a maker of medical devices like pacemakers and stents to one that is thinking more broadly about improving health and patient outcomes. In the two years since it opened, there has hardly been a quiet moment at the lab — and there has been so much demand from different groups in the company the team has had to create screening criteria for what they will work on. Brian Bechard explains…

Pfizer’s Daniel Seewald: Where Design Thinking Breaks Down—and How to Avoid It

Daniel Seewald, Senior Director of Worldwide Innovation at Pfizer, discusses design thinking, and what you can do to ensure that your designers are using effective techniques to build an appropriate foundation for customer insight. His recommendations include defining the problem, seperating process from content, and more.

Audio: Advice from Piaggio, Eastern Bank, Thomson Reuters, Autodesk, and Blue Cross Blue Shield

Go where the love is… get others running experiments…and make sure you know how to pull a rabbit out of a hat. (But don’t do it over and over.) Tips and insights that senior innovation execs shared at a recent gathering in Boston.

Inside J&J’s New Initiative to ‘Intercept’ Diseases

The pharmaceutical industry typically develops new drugs to help manage diseases.  But a new project inside Johnson & Johnson posits a different model: what if you could identify people at risk of developing a disease, and create products to stave it off? Ben Wiegand, head of the Disease Interception Accelerator, explains what they’re up to.

Getting leadership buy-in, ‘no time syndrome,’ and premature scaling: Stories from Humana, GE, Intuit

Why do employees and executives in large organizations resist participating in innovation efforts? Sometimes it’s about fear of failure, not having a safe environment to try new things, or no-time syndrome: “Oh, we don’t have enough time to innovate.” Downloadable audio and more insights inside…

Connecting corporate venture capital to the business at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Tuoyo Louis has a very clear objective at Zaffre Investments, a corporate venture team that is part of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts: Finding healthcare startups that can solve a problem for someone in the insurance company’s ecosystem, whether that’s a patient, an employer, or an administrator sitting behind a doctor’s front desk. Louis explains how he works with business-side leaders inside Blue Cross Blue Shield to get pilot tests underway that leverage new technologies from the startups.

How business units get involved with J&J’s network of innovation centers

When J&J makes a new investment in a startup, “50 percent of the deal funding from J&J Innovation, and the business unit provides the other 50 percent,” explains Darren Snellgrove, Chief Financial Officer for J&J Innovation. “We have found that both sides having skin in the game, and a say in the decision making is an important component of success.” More insights inside…

Learnings and slides from Pfizer’s work to foster a culture of innovation

What happens if lots of divisions in a global company come up with their own approach to innovation? “If you don’t have a common vernacular, if you don’t have a common culture, if you don’t have the same frame of reference,” says Pfizer exec Dan Seewald, “then you lose the scalability and the impact of having one program, one mindset, and one social movement.” Inside, details on the Pfizer “Dare to Try” innovation initiative, which Seewald oversees.

Cardinal Health SVP offers a look inside customer-focused Fuse lab

“When you come to Fuse, it’s all about the customers. It’s customer-in,” says Cardinal Health SVP and CTO Brent Stutz. Visiting employees and executives “leave their business unit affiliations and their badges behind.” Here’s a look inside…

“Process kills innovation”: Merck exec’s advice on fostering innovation in a global business

When it comes to innovating across the globe and in emerging markets, Merck’s head of commercial innovation is adamant about streamlining processes and paperwork. “If you need ten steps and three forms to fill in for every idea you have, nobody is going to do it,” says Wim Vandenhouweele. Inside, his advice for building a global innovation capability in a highly-regulated industry…

Achieving innovation balance: Advice from Cambia Health’s chief innovation officer

Five years after starting the innovation team at Cambia Health Solutions, a family of healthcare businesses in the Pacific Northwest, Chief Innovation Officer Mohan Nair shares what he has learned about different types of innovators — including some you may want to avoid — as well as delivering near-term and long-term impact.

Open innovation at $25 billion AstraZeneca: What we’ve learned so far

Scott Wilkins, Enterprise Innovation Director at the British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and his colleague Rob Albert discuss the roots of the open innovation program at AstraZeneca; how they use recognition and financial rewards for people who help them with challenges; how they got legal and compliance leaders on their side; and how they’re shifting the culture at AstraZeneca from feeling like every great breakthrough needs to come from an employee. In Wilkins’ words, the company now stresses that “the patient doesn’t care who solves the problem.” Includes 30 minutes of downloadable audio…

Hearst Health’s chief innovation officer on lab funding, staffing, and focus

Our latest Innovation Leader Live call featured Justin Graham of Hearst Health, talking about the innovation lab he oversees in San Francisco. We discussed staffing, funding, and the focus of the lab — and took several questions from listeners. Read the highlights of our conversation, or listen to the audio.

Humana’s Chief Innovation Officer: ‘Co-creation is the new way’

Chris Kay of Humana discusses how the $48 billion health insurer is collaborating and co-creating with startups in the healthcare industry, and outlines his process for going from ideation to market.

So you’re trying to innovate in a heavily-regulated industry…

There are even more barriers to innovation in industries that are heavily regulated — like pharma, healthcare, insurance, and banking. Legal and regulatory requirements can loom large, and have the potential to stifle innovation — if you don’t address them head-on. Here’s how…

How a $56 billion healthcare delivery system is putting the consumer first

Tad Funahashi, Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, talks about how the 177,000 employee healthcare delivery system is working to become less MD-centric, and more consumer-centric. Includes audio and slides…

How new CVS digital lab proves value, collaborates with business units

Chief Digital Officer Brian Tilzer discusses why the $37 billion retail and healthcare giant set up its new Digital Innovation Lab in Boston; how it connects with teams at CVS’ Rhode Island headquarters; and his thoughts on mobile payments, videoconferencing and collaboration, and in-store Bluetooth Beacon technology. Includes 40 minutes of audio from our recent Field Study visit…

How the lab at Express Scripts leverages data to predict — and prevent — healthcare problems

The Express Scripts Lab, which opened in 2010, roughly tripled in headcount last year and now houses more than 100 employees. One area of focus: working with data to better predict which patients will need extra nudges to stick to a medication regime. We talk with one of the executives who leads it, Mark Bini.

Florida Hospital innovation exec on ‘Internet of Things’ learnings

Florida Hospital has been deploying “Internet of Things” technologies — including RFID locator tags attached to equipment and worn by employees — since 2010. Innovation Leader editor Scott Kirsner spoke recently with Ashley Simmons, Director of Innovation Development, about what they’ve learned so far, in a session held at the Internet of Things Summit in Boston.

Cambia exec: Why we created healthcare collaboration space

Nicole Bell is executive director of the new Cambia Grove, a 9,000 square foot facility in downtown Seattle that brings together innovators and entrepreneurs with health plans, providers, businesses, government leaders, and academic minds from around the country. She talks about how and why her employer, Cambia Health Solutions, created the Grove. Includes audio, photos, and a video…

CVS Health’s Chief Digital Officer on navigating two revolutions

Brian Tilzer says the $139 billion company is navigating two revolutions: omni-channel retail and what he terms “the digital enablement of healthcare.” It wouldn’t be possible without dialing up spending, and bringing new talent to the company. Here’s what he’s doing (includes slides)…

How Pfizer disrupted the traditional innovation conference

A senior R&D leader at pharmaceutical giant Pfizer raved to us last November about the innovation gathering he’d just been to. “It was like TEDMED meets ‘The Apprentice,'” he said, which didn’t sound anything like the typical innovation conference put on by a major multi-national. We asked Julio Corredor, who organized the event, to tell us how he structured it and what made it work.

Hospital innovation exec talks disruption, events, engagement

Audio and notes from our recent call with Lesley Solomon, who has overseen the launch of the Innovation Hub at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. Brigham & Women’s has 1300 researchers and 1700 clinicians, along with about $650 million in annual funding. Solomon talked with IL members about running hackathons; her steering committee; and how she gets busy doctors, nurses, and researchers engaged with innovation initiatives, among other things…

Humana exec on consultants, mix of projects, reporting to CEO

Audio and notes from our recent “Innovation Leader Live” call with Nate Bellinger of Humana. Bellinger talks about the 15-year history of Humana’s innovation initiatives; some of the lessons they’ve learned as it has evolved; the ratio of incremental innovation to transformational innovation; budgets; and various changes in reporting relationships. Includes 30 minutes of downloadable audio…

Why UnitedHealth and the Mayo Clinic created Optum Labs

Optum Labs founding CEO Paul Bleicher explains why a new “open innovation center for the healthcare and life sciences industry” was created, the key to getting everyone to play nicely together, and how they’ll measure success. Includes slides.

Setting innovation goals at the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society’s new Managing Director of Product Innovation talks about building an innovation team, setting goals, and collaborating within a large non-profit. Includes slides…

Six tips from innovation VP at $10 billion Partners HealthCare

At the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, Chris Coburn oversaw the spin-off of 57 companies. Now, as the VP Innovation at Partners HealthCare, he’s leading commercialization efforts in an entirely different culture. Inside are Chris’ tips on maximizing innovation efforts, including five key metrics for measuring success.

VC the GE way; lessons from the firm’s upgraded strategy

GE chief executive Jeff Immelt called a meeting in 2012 to rethink the company’s investing strategy. The result was the creation of a new GE Ventures team headquartered in Silicon Valley that builds on past experiences — and mistakes. Managing director Noah Lewis explains what changed.

What we learned running our hospital’s first hackathon

Innovation exec Lesley Solomon explains how Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston set up its first hackathon, what the event achieved for the organization, and what they will do differently next time around.

Humana exec on the ups and downs of innovation programs

As staffing levels have risen and fallen, and reporting relationships have changed, $40 billion health insurer Humana has kept a commitment to innovation alive. Director of Consumer Innovation Nate Bellinger describes his current strategy, and some of the lessons from almost 15 years.

Can your company invent the future — not fight to prevent it?

In an excerpt from his new book “The New Killer Apps: How Large Companies Can Out-Innovate Start-Ups,” Chunka Mui examines how the drugstore chain Walgreens has worked to claim a new position in healthcare at a time of tumultuous change for the industry.

Learning to love Innovation Day at UnitedHealth Group

Ryan Armbruster, VP of Innovation Competency at UnitedHealth Group, shares an outline of how the company structures its annual Innovation Day event — and discusses his initial skepticism about it. “To me, innovation is about deep skills and competencies, not something you just celebrate on a single day,” Armbruster says.

Creating a disrupter ecosystem: How Athenahealth did it

With an initiative dubbed “More Disruption Please,” CEO Jonathan Bush decided to give other companies access to his customer base, inviting them to integrate into his cloud-based platform for helping doctors manage their practices. Eight hundred prospective partners raised their hands.

How J&J is building its global network of innovation centers

The healthcare giant, headquartered in New Jersey, is opening innovation centers in Silicon Valley, Shanghai, London, and Boston. Robert Urban, who heads the Boston Innovation Center for Johnson & Johnson, explains how it is staffed; his mandate; and J&J’s new thinking around collaborating with healthcare startups. Includes an audio interview with Urban and a look at the Boston office.

Naomi Fried: My 3 highest-impact programs

Three years into the job, Naomi Fried, the Chief Innovation Officer at one of the world’s top pediatric medical centers, reflects on the three initiatives that have moved the needle most. Fried also offers a look at her annual innovation progress report.

Mike Powell: Doing innovation as ‘just one guy’

The State of Maryland’s Chief Innovation Officer talks about catching criminals, reducing hospital admissions among “frequent fliers,” and hackathons to help the environment. And how he makes innovation happen in the state with limited resources and plenty of partners.

What Philips wants from open innovation and crowdsourcing

Philips North America chairman Greg Sebasky, left, calls it “one of the first attempts by a large company to do open innovation.” The company is dangling $100,000 in prize money, plus mentorship from Philips execs, for new product ideas in healthcare. But before the competition launched, Sebasky had to deal his attorneys.