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How do business model and health technology design influence each other? Insights from a longitudinal case study of three academic spin-offs


  • Lehoux, P.
  • Daudelin, G.
  • Williams-Jones, B.
  • Denis, J.-L.
  • Longo, C.


Academic spin-offs often lack business expertise, face uncertainties regarding their innovation and their markets, and do not have a clear idea of how their product will create value. In spite of this vagueness, academic entrepreneurs must articulate a business model and rapidly establish trustworthy relationships with potential users, purchasers and capital investors. One may thus wonder how their technology development process is influenced by the long-term expectations of their putative customers as well as the short-term requirements of capital investors? This longitudinal case study examines how the business models of three Canadian health technology spin-offs sought to address the value expectations of clinical users and capital investors, how tensions were resolved, and the impact this had on technology design. We describe the synergistic readjustments, drastic reconfiguration and mismatch between business model and technology design we observed. Our discussion highlights the mediating mechanisms by which business models and technology design influence each other, clarifying why the initial value proposition of the spin-offs was either refined or reframed. Beyond confirming the importance of differentiating business models in the health technology industry, our study suggests that it is not only who makes decision that matters, but also how stakeholders’ value expectations get embedded in a spin-off's value proposition.

Suggested Citation

  • Lehoux, P. & Daudelin, G. & Williams-Jones, B. & Denis, J.-L. & Longo, C., 2014. "How do business model and health technology design influence each other? Insights from a longitudinal case study of three academic spin-offs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1025-1038.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:43:y:2014:i:6:p:1025-1038
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2014.02.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Nicholas Dew & Saras Sarasvathy, 2007. "Innovations, Stakeholders & Entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 267-283, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lehoux, P. & Miller, F.A. & Daudelin, G., 2017. "Converting clinical risks into economic value: The role of expectations and institutions in health technology development," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 206-216.
    2. Lauto, Giancarlo & Valentin, Finn, 2016. "The knowledge production model of the New Sciences: The case of Translational Medicine," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 12-21.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:1300-:d:142696 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:11:p:4015-:d:180070 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:kap:sbusec:v:52:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s11187-018-0022-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:kap:jtecht:v:43:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10961-017-9647-z is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:wsi:ijitmx:v:15:y:2018:i:04:n:s0219877018500311 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Cheng, Yu & Huang, Lucheng & Ramlogan, Ronnie & Li, Xin, 2017. "Forecasting of potential impacts of disruptive technology in promising technological areas: Elaborating the SIRS epidemic model in RFID technology," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 170-183.
    9. Jukka Majava & Tuomo Kinnunen & Pekka Kess & Pekka Leviäkangas, 2014. "Spatial Health and Life Sciences Business Ecosystems: Research Frame," Management, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 9(4), pages 307-322.
    10. Miller, Fiona A. & French, Martin, 2016. "Organizing the entrepreneurial hospital: Hybridizing the logics of healthcare and innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1534-1544.
    11. repec:wsi:ijimxx:v:21:y:2017:i:06:n:s1363919617500438 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. van Gorp, A.F., 2016. "E-Health Market Development in the Netherlands: An Analysis of App Developer Strategies and their Drivers," 27th European Regional ITS Conference, Cambridge (UK) 2016 148711, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).


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