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By Steve Xu M.D., FAADWilliam Ju., M.D., FAAD
It’s hard to imagine that this column is now on its first anniversary. We hope that you as a reader have found the information inspiring and of actionable help in your own innovation journey. Over the past year, we have covered a range of topics. Defining great problems is essential in successful innovation. For dermatologists to have a leg up in this regard, we discussed the importance of building a “people pipeline” of innovators,1 who during their medical school and residency years,2 start thinking about problems worth solving and begin training on how to approach solving them via the creation of new products and services.
We argued that physician organizations such as the American Academy of Dermatology and Society of Investigative Dermatology are interested in and have the ability to be powerful drivers of innovation for their members.3 This expanded into articles that highlighted innovations in dermatology related to digital health4 and pharmaceuticals.5 We provided educational content centered on intellectual property,6 technology transfer7 and working with industry.8 Finally, we highlighted key takeaways from innovation conferences9 and dermatology-focused hackathons.10
As we embark on a second year for this column, we want to make the content even more useful, actionable and inspiring for readers. Over the past few months we have received a lot of wonderful feedback. Using that, we thought carefully about how to structure this year’s column of Innovation Matters.
Innovation is driven by exceptional individuals – particularly in the earliest stages, and it is often best told through real world examples. Thus, upcoming columns will include more stories from innovators. This will include those who have successfully taken ideas to products. But, we will also include individuals early in the formation of a successful venture or idea. Our hope is that innovators sharing their stories directly will provide you with both inspiration and insights. We hope to reveal the story behind the story, with each identifying a meaningful lesson relevant to the innovation journey. This could be something important related to ideation, invention, asset creation, licensing, fundraising or product design. We hope that these real-world lessons will be impactful and memorable.
Finally, our topics will broaden to include more areas of innovation, including, for example, novel clinical delivery systems and creative physician-wellness initiatives. We want to highlight a broader scope of innovation that extends beyond new drugs and devices. We hope you, the reader, will be able to look forward to the columns as much as we look forward to writing them.
1. Xu S, Ju W. A critical first step in defining great problems. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/dermatology/critical-first-step-definin…. Published October 3, 2018.
2. Ju W, Xu W. The need for entrepreneurship education in medical school and residency training. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/business/need-entrepreneurship-educatio…. Published November 8, 2018.
3. Xu S, Nguyen M. Medical societies can support innovation. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/business/medical-societies-can-support-…. Published December 8, 2018.
4. Xu S. Digital health and dermatology. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/innovation/digital-health-and-dermatology. Published January 3, 2019.
5. Xu S. Novel dermatology drugs approved in 2018. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/innovation/novel-dermatology-drugs-appr…. Published March 22, 2019.
6. Miller RA, Xu S. How to use patents to maximize value for your venture. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/innovation/how-use-patents-maximize-val…. Published May 31, 2019.
7. Xu S. What you should know about technology transfer. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/innovation/what-innovators-dermatology-…. Published May 10, 2019.
8. Xu S, Sierra ML. Opportunities for collaboration with industry. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/innovation/opportunities-collaboration-…. Published January 30, 2019.
9. Xu S. Innovation dispatches from the AAD. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/innovation/innovation-dispatches-aad. Published April 2, 2019
10. Costa A, Duerksen L, Raff A, Xu S. The case for hackathons in dermatology. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/innovation/case-hackathons-dermatology…. July 2, 2019.
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