BrainSwarming, blockchain, and bioethics: applying Innovation Enhancing Techniques to healthcare and research.
Vazirani AA., McCaffrey T., Savulescu J., Porsdam Mann S.
Innovation in healthcare and biomedicine is in decline, yet there exist no widely-known alternatives to traditional brainstorming that can be employed for innovative idea generation. McCaffrey's Innovation Enhancing Techniques (IETs) were developed to enhance creative problem-solving by helping the solver to overcome common psychological obstacles to generating innovative ideas. These techniques were devised for engineering and design problems, which involve solving practical goals using physical materials. Healthcare and science problems however often involve solving abstract goals using intangible resources. Here we adapt two of McCaffrey's IETs, BrainSwarming and the Generic Parts Technique, to effectively enhance idea generation for such problems. To demonstrate their potential, we apply these techniques to a case study involving the use of blockchain technologies to facilitate ethical goals in biomedicine, and successfully identify 100 potential solutions to this problem. Being simple to understand and easy to implement, these and other IETs have significant potential to improve innovation and idea generation in healthcare, scientific, and technological contexts. By catalysing idea generation in problem-solving, these techniques may be used to target the innovative stagnation currently facing the scientific world.