NEJM Catalyst Insights Report: Focused Start-ups to Be Leading Source of Disruptive Innovation in the Health Care Industry

News · February 21, 2017

NEJM Catalyst

Executives, clinical leaders, and clinicians agree that new entrants into the marketplace will come from outside traditional organizations.


WALTHAM, MASSACHUSETTS – February 17, 2017 – 

Focused start-ups, not traditional health care organizations, will be the leading source of disruptive innovation in the industry, according to the recent NEJM Catalyst Insights Report on the New Marketplace.

NEJM Catalyst Insights Reports are based on surveys of the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council, a qualified group of U.S. executives, clinical leaders, and clinicians at organizations directly involved in health care delivery. They focus on four key areas: Care Redesign, Leadership, Patient Engagement, and the New Marketplace.

“In pointing to focused startups, Insights Council members are telegraphing that the theme of this new era of innovation will be ‘out with the old, in with the new’ and that they want to overcome the limitations of the current marketplace,” says Leemore Dafny, PhD, lead advisor of NEJM Catalyst’s New Marketplace sector. Dafny is MBA Class of 1960 Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School.

For instance, in the area of primary care, 65% of Insights Council members say focused start-ups will be the source of promising new entrants to the marketplace, compared to 29% who point to traditional health care companies or organizations. More than half of respondents say focused startups will lead innovation in both health care IT (63%) and hospitals/health systems (54%).

Provider executives/clinical leaders and payers draw a tie, at 92% each, as the most influential stakeholders in driving adoption of a new approach to patient care. Ironically, in this era of patient-centered care, patients rank lowest in influence at 63%.

For more on the NEJM Catalyst Insights Report on the New Marketplace, visit: An index of all NEJM Catalyst Insights Reports can be found here:


About NEJM Catalyst
NEJM Catalyst offers a combination of multimedia content, web events, expert panels, and new research. NEJM Catalyst connects health care executives, clinical leaders, and clinicians with practical approaches and actionable steps to implement changes in their organizations that improve the value of health care delivery and patient care.

About NEJM Group
NEJM Group creates high-quality medical resources for research, learning, practice, and professional development. Designed to meet the demand for essential medical knowledge and innovation among academic researchers and teachers, physicians, clinicians, executives, and others in health care, NEJM Group products include the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM Journal Watch, NEJM Knowledge+, and NEJM Catalyst. NEJM Group is a division of the Massachusetts Medical Society. For more information visit




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