I have discussed new concepts and ideas in the area of prevention of illnesses and creation of wellbeing here at the blog several times before. Sometimes under an umbrella of "Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship" and sometimes just as a natural development of the business strategies in the pharmaceutical industry (see for instance the blog post from Feb 8, 2011, Nov 16, 2011, and June 9, 2010).
A background to this development could for instance be found in a quote from a debate article by our former CEO, Jeff Kindler:
“We’ve made a series of commitments to ourselves and to the people we serve. For example, we have committed to advancing wellness, prevention, treatments and cures, because health is one of the most important investments a society can make. It’s time to move beyond simply helping people get better after they get sick. Shouldn’t we help them keep from getting sick in the first place?”
On "matured healthcare markets", such as our market here in Sweden, I am convinced that we will see these concepts materialize over the coming years.
And I am happy to see that at this very moment minhjartskola.se is being presented as a "best practice" initiative at the National Quality Register Conference ("Nationella Kvalitetsregisterkonferensen 2011, 4-5 oktober") arranged by SKL ("the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions").
It is important that these kind of initiatives become well-known and utilized in healthcare to enable and facilitate further development of not only the tools and concepts themselves, but also market and business models. Because I believe we could all agree with the basic idea that it is better to prevent than to cure. Tools such as minhjartskola.se that drives life style changes should be offered to citizens as early as possble (at least before they become a patient with an identified illness). And I really think it is reasonable to say that the social innovators and developers should get a fair reward for their contribution. Such a market model still needs to be developed!
Social innovation in the area of prevention and wellbeing is a very important and, at least according to me, a growing trend of Corporate Social Responsibility in the healthcare sector.