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This report presents findings from an exploratory study of health innovations being transferred from South to North. This was an independent project conducted over the summer of 2010.

Normally, technology transfer refers to a process where developed countries forge ahead in technology development, while laggard countries adopt technologies in their wake. This briefing examines technologies explicitly developed for developing country settings, which then may have an application in the UK National Health Service (NHS). This allows for a revealing and unusual insight into technology transfer by examining the barriers and enablers to adoption in the UK NHS. Multiple methods were used including a literature review and case studies involving document reviews, key informant interviews and a survey. The study found several sets of factors that are key to adoption, many of them highly contextual. It concludes that further research is needed to understand how generalised these findings can be, and to ascertain whether a ‘reverse innovation' trend is emerging.

The briefing will be of interest to policymakers who are finding that their concerns are beginning to overlap with those of developing countries (such as sensitivity to cost). The briefing also will be of interest to researchers wishing to understand the development and adoption of new technologies.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was conducted by RAND Europe.

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