IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Whatever works: uncertainty and technological hybrids in medical innovation


  • Barbera, David


  • Consoli, Davide


The persistent uncertainty that looms over the search for solutions to health problems offers important conceptual insights for the study of technological change. This paper explores the notion of hybridization, namely the embodiment of multiple competing operational principles within a single medical device, as strategy to deal with the practical shortcomings due to said uncertainty. The history of the development of the hybrid artificial disk affords the elaboration of an alternative view of hybridization and, at the same time, the articulation of a dualism between medical science as area of basic research (e.g. what disease is) and as practical knowledge (e.g. how disease can be tackled).

Suggested Citation

  • Barbera, David & Consoli, Davide, 2011. "Whatever works: uncertainty and technological hybrids in medical innovation," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201112, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), revised 16 Feb 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:ing:wpaper:201112

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:tefoso:v:134:y:2018:i:c:p:223-233 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ronnie Ramlogan & Davide Consoli, 2014. "Dynamics of collaborative research medicine: the case of glaucoma," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 544-566, August.
    3. repec:eee:tefoso:v:138:y:2019:i:c:p:324-339 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Blandinieres, Florence, 2019. "Anatomy of the medical innovation process: What are the consequences of replicability issues on innovation?," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-011, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    5. Ivlev, Ilya & Vacek, Jakub & Kneppo, Peter, 2015. "Multi-criteria decision analysis for supporting the selection of medical devices under uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 247(1), pages 216-228.
    6. Thune, Taran & Mina, Andrea, 2016. "Hospitals as innovators in the health-care system: A literature review and research agenda," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1545-1557.

    More about this item


    Medical innovation; Hybridization; Uncertainty; Technological evolution; Implantable medical devices;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ing:wpaper:201112. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (François Perruchas). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.