Frugal Innovations in Healthcare: Factors Affecting the Diffusion in Developing Economies
Healthcare systems around the globe are making efforts to decrease cost and improve medical services. Frugal innovation as defined by the Economist (2010) instead of adding more bells and whistles, strip down the products to their bare essentials. This is becoming an interesting phenomenon for academia and practitioners for solving the challenges of healthcare systems. Previous studies primarily highlight the importance of frugal innovation in healthcare. The diffusion of frugal innovation in different geographic areas and socioeconomic conditions still needs further discussion. This study aims to identify the factors that affect the diffusion of frugal innovation in healthcare in low-income emerging economies. To do this, 28 semi-structured interviews in the medical specialties of orthopedics and cardiology were conducted in Pakistan from January to March 2018. The sample includes professionals from public, private and NGO hospitals. The main findings suggest that innovation attributes, hospital administration and government recommendation are the main drivers for the diffusion of frugal innovation. Our findings provide guidelines for the diffusion of frugal products and techniques in low-income emerging economies, which enable policy makers and researchers to tackle one on the largest challenges for frugal innovation.