Title: Development of an e-commerce website for innovations emerging from a public sector healthcare system

Authors: Ann P. Starkey, Lyndon Judd, Richard Clark, Michael A. Smith

Addresses: Medipex Ltd., icon Business Centres (Leeds) Ltd., 4100 Park Approach, Thorpe Park, Leeds, LS15 8GB, UK; Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, Stoddart Building, Howard Street, Sheffield, S1 1WB, UK. ' Medipex Ltd., icon Business Centres (Leeds) Ltd., 4100 Park Approach, Thorpe Park, Leeds, LS15 8GB, UK. ' Medipex Ltd., icon Business Centres (Leeds) Ltd., 4100 Park Approach, Thorpe Park, Leeds, LS15 8GB, UK. ' Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield, S1 1WB, UK

Abstract: In the UK National Health Service (NHS), there is a national network of nine regional innovation hubs set up to undertake technology transfer and commercialisation of innovations emerging from the NHS. However, it was recognised that there was also a need to develop an outlet for products which are not commercially viable, but which are potentially beneficial to the NHS. To meet this need, an e-commerce website was developed to market and sell such products within the NHS. This paper describes the development, implementation and evaluation of this novel approach, and highlights the complexities and problems involved in such a venture, which has been analysed using a conceptual model of business innovation. The analysis of the metrics shows that site traffic, and sales have remained fairly constant, rather than increasing over the first two years. This maybe due to the reticence of other hubs, despite generally positive feedback, to populate the site and the non-commercial nature of the goods may quickly lead to market saturation.

Keywords: e-commerce websites; non-commercial products; public health sector; commercialisation; medical technology; electronic commerce; National Health Service; UK NHS; United Kingdom; regional innovation hubs; technology transfer; innovation; healthcare technology; internet.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2011.040896

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2011 Vol.10 No.3/4, pp.375 - 391

Available online: 26 Jun 2011 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article