The Healthcare Innovation Center (THINC.) is part of the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands (UMCU). We offer rigorous, tailored and fast research to healthcare innovators. With our portfolio of scientific services we assess and demonstrate the intended clinical improvements of an innovation for patients and healthcare systems, the added value for healthcare professionals and the potential impact for investors. As early in the innovation process as possible, we assess the mechanism of action, usability, feasibility, efficacy, implementation landscape and cost-effectiveness. We provide suggestions for further adjustments of the innovation, future research and successful implementation.
Assessment of the innovation. How will the innovation impact its intended users, who are the intended users and what is the context, what should be the next step in terms of research? Which laws and regulations are relevant to this product and future studies? What are the most feasible timelines, the financial frameworks and is grant writing required?
DEMONSTRATION OF THE MECHANISM OF ACTION
CONTEXT & CURRENT PRACTICE ANALYSE
In this phase, the mechanism of action will be optimized. Different perspectives (i.e. healthcare provider, patient, investor) will be taken into account during the development of a prototype.
IDEATION / DESIGN THINKING
In this phase, the prototype will be introduced in the real-world setting. This enables verification of the impact of the innovation on the intended users, current practice and safety aspects. It will provide valuable input on the usability and feasibility of the innovation.
The information gathered on usability, feasibility and the economic context will gradually drive the innovation into a mature innovation. In the evaluation phase, the intended effects and impact of this innovation will be tested alongside the implementation of the innovation. This gives definitive information on the usability, cost-effectiveness and clinical impact.
METHODOLOGY CLINICAL STUDY
In this phase, we support innovators to determine how and in which context to implement the innovation to maximize impact.
Innovation of evaluation
For each innovation, we will specifically determine which type of research will deliver the most information. Information that leads towards impactful implementation of an innovation. State of the art knowledge and extensive experience in several types of research is required, because innovations strongly differ when it comes to mechanism of action, safety and the complexity of usage by patients or healthcare professionals. In other words: ‘one size does not fit all’. The past years, the scope, types and number of pragmatic studies have expanded substantially. Within THINC. we are well informed on the latest developments and we have contributed to methodological innovations in this area. This means we can offer innovative, customized advice on the optimal study design.
Chris van Lieshout
Senior Innovation Researcher
Medical Doctor, Clinical Epidemiologist
Senior Innovation Researcher
Miriam van der Meulen
Wendela de Lange
Frequently asked questions
During an introduction meeting, we would like to hear more about the innovation. This enables us to assess which innovation phase is applicable to the innovation. We would like to hear more about the next steps the innovator wants to take and match these next steps to the services we offer. During this meeting we will explain our products in detail, including how much time is needed to get to research results.
THINC. generally works with three types of clients. First, start-ups that are building a business case for one medical innovation, second, SME's that aim to bring multiple medical innovations to the market, and third, multinationals that produce medical products and services or continuously work on the improvement of medical products and services. These clients have in common that they aim to introduce innovations to the market that will bring long-term improvements to a healthcare system.
Our products and services are tailored. Based on the information we gather in the intake meeting, such as which research suits the innovation, the nature of the innovation and the scale of the intended implementation, we can give more clarity on the pricing.
Being a part of the University Medical Center Utrecht, we are able to participate in grant applications, provided that THINC. will deliver part of the services that is applied for. We can deliver the information needed and establish the costs associated with delivering these services. In general THINC. only participates in grants as a subcontractor.