Posted on August 31, 2016

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) will host a forum on its Global Diffusion for Health Innovation (GDHI) project during its 2016 conference in Doha this November.

GDHI is a research project funded by Qatar Foundation for the WISH Summit. It explores how frontline health workers and healthcare leaders in six different parts of the world source innovations to meet their needs. It also examines the role of curator organisations in propagating ideas and solutions for those needs.

The first phase of GDHI, presented at WISH 2013, surveyed healthcare workers and industry experts to determine what behaviours were present and significant in diffusing an innovation in each of the eight countries that were studied. The second phase examined the eight case studies of innovations, successfully scaled in a number of countries, to determine the factors that enabled the success of these innovations. This year, GDHI will present its third phase of research at WISH 2016. The forum will focus on the demand, rather than the supply, of innovation. It will examine the ‘pull’ factors for innovation, rather than how innovations are ‘pushed’ out into wider practice.

In this regard, Mathew Harris, clinical senior lecturer in Public Health Medicine at the Institute of Global Health Innovation and the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, also the project lead for GDHI, said: “The influence of the WISH conference is significant. This conference presents a remarkable opportunity for the collective intellectual power of senior health policymakers from around the world to come together at a common platform and attend to tricky subjects like the design and delivery of healthcare systems.”

Egbert Schillings, CEO of WISH, said: “Since the inception of WISH, this body of research on the diffusion of innovation has been at the centre of the programme; it’s obvious why – an innovation that neither spreads nor scales is not really viable, but often the failure to take off has less to do with the merits of an idea than organisational barriers.”

“Today’s healthcare systems are rigid, input-oriented and fragmented. While innovation is critical for the future of healthcare, there has been too slow an uptake due to barriers in the system. Silos need to be broken down through stronger partnerships and multidisciplinary, integrated approaches to build future healthcare systems that are flexible as well as patient and results oriented. The GDHI research helps leaders navigate the route to successful diffusion and adoption,” he added.

The GDHI report will highlight how healthcare leaders can tackle the problem of accelerating the uptake and diffusion of new innovations. It will focus on what policymakers can do to push innovations out and into practice while providing insights into the needs and challenges of the frontline healthcare workers and how healthcare management systems can leverage the contributions made by these workers. WISH, a global initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), is a meeting point for thousands of high-level policymakers, academics, and professionals. It has also evolved into a key platform for the dissemination of healthcare innovation and best practices.

The WISH 2016 Summit, to be held from 29th to 30th November in Doha, will feature seven ground-breaking Research Forums that highlight and address some of the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges. The forums will generate interdisciplinary, evidence-based reports on topics including Healthy Populations, Precision Medicine, Economic Benefits of Investing in Health, Accountable Care, Cardiovascular Disease, Autism and Behavioural Insights. Internationally-renowned experts will chair the forums. For the first time, WISH will also report on its impact locally and globally on issues previously highlighted at the conference, such as diabetes and patient safety.

The summit will feature innovation showcases from around the world that are shaping the design, delivery, and financing of care, as well as a cohort of young innovators; emerging healthcare leaders under the age of 30, whose contributions to global health deserve wider recognition.

For further information about WISH, please visit and Twitter @WISHQatar.