Purpose – The article applies the citizen science phenomenon – i.e. lay people involvement in research endeavours aimed at pushing forward scientific knowledge – to healthcare. Attention is paid to initiatives intended to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic as an illustrative case to exemplify the contribution of citizen science to system-wide innovation in healthcare. Design/methodology/approach – A mixed methodology consisting of three sequential steps was developed. Firstly, a realist literature review was carried out to contextualize citizen science to healthcare. Then, an account of successfully completed large-scale, online citizen science projects dealing with healthcare and medicine has been conducted in order to obtain preliminary information about distinguishing features of citizen science in healthcare. Thirdly, a broad search of citizen science initiatives targeted to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic has been performed. A comparative case study approach has been undertaken to examine the attributes of such projects and to unravel their peculiarities. Findings – Citizen science enacts the development of a lively healthcare ecosystem, which takes its nourishment from the voluntary contribution of lay people. Citizen scientists play different roles in accomplishing citizen science initiatives, ranging from data collectors to data analysts. Alongside enabling big data management, citizen science contributes to lay people’s education and empowerment, soliciting their active involvement in service co-production and value co-creation. Practical implications – Citizen science is still underexplored in healthcare. Even though further evidence is needed to emphasize the value of lay people’s involvement in scientific research applied to healthcare, citizen science is expected to revolutionize the way innovation is pursued and achieved in the healthcare ecosystem. Engaging lay people in a co-creating partnership with expert scientist can help us to address unprecedented health-related challenges and to shape the future of healthcare. Tailored health policy and management interventions are required to empower lay people and to stimulate their active engagement in value co-creation. Originality/value – Citizen science relies on the wisdom of the crowd to address major issues faced by healthcare organizations. The article comes up with a state of the art investigation of citizen science in healthcare, shedding light on its attributes and envisioning avenues for further development.

An open innovation approach to co-produce scientific knowledge: an examination of citizen science in the healthcare ecosystem

Ciasullo, Maria Vincenza;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Purpose – The article applies the citizen science phenomenon – i.e. lay people involvement in research endeavours aimed at pushing forward scientific knowledge – to healthcare. Attention is paid to initiatives intended to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic as an illustrative case to exemplify the contribution of citizen science to system-wide innovation in healthcare. Design/methodology/approach – A mixed methodology consisting of three sequential steps was developed. Firstly, a realist literature review was carried out to contextualize citizen science to healthcare. Then, an account of successfully completed large-scale, online citizen science projects dealing with healthcare and medicine has been conducted in order to obtain preliminary information about distinguishing features of citizen science in healthcare. Thirdly, a broad search of citizen science initiatives targeted to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic has been performed. A comparative case study approach has been undertaken to examine the attributes of such projects and to unravel their peculiarities. Findings – Citizen science enacts the development of a lively healthcare ecosystem, which takes its nourishment from the voluntary contribution of lay people. Citizen scientists play different roles in accomplishing citizen science initiatives, ranging from data collectors to data analysts. Alongside enabling big data management, citizen science contributes to lay people’s education and empowerment, soliciting their active involvement in service co-production and value co-creation. Practical implications – Citizen science is still underexplored in healthcare. Even though further evidence is needed to emphasize the value of lay people’s involvement in scientific research applied to healthcare, citizen science is expected to revolutionize the way innovation is pursued and achieved in the healthcare ecosystem. Engaging lay people in a co-creating partnership with expert scientist can help us to address unprecedented health-related challenges and to shape the future of healthcare. Tailored health policy and management interventions are required to empower lay people and to stimulate their active engagement in value co-creation. Originality/value – Citizen science relies on the wisdom of the crowd to address major issues faced by healthcare organizations. The article comes up with a state of the art investigation of citizen science in healthcare, shedding light on its attributes and envisioning avenues for further development.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4773942
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