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The University of Southampton

HMPR3004 Healthcare Innovation

Module Overview

The aims of this module are to review and develop an understanding of (a) key theories and frameworks through which we can have a general understanding of the ways that healthcare innovations are implemented, embedded, and integrated in practice, and (b) national and international case studies through which we can explore the different conditions that are associated with the success and failure of technological innovations. The module will range across different modes of innovation and different kinds of technologies, but most importantly, its aim is to provide participants with a framework through which they can make sense of the claims made about new techniques and systems of practice; identify the social processes and mechanisms that underpin them; and identify and develop useful evaluation questions and procedures that can be applied to them.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify the core processes and mechanisms that underpin innovation and implementation.
  • Critically discuss the relationships between components of implementation processes.
  • Use theoretical models to explain processes and outcomes of implementation processes.
  • Critically compare and evaluate theoretical explanations for innovation implementation processes.


Key concepts and theoretical approaches to healthcare innovation will be drawn from across the social sciences and will include psychology (Theory of Planned Behaviour/Technology Acceptance Model), sociology (Normalization Process Theory/diffusion of innovations theory), Science and Technology Studies (Actor Network Theory), economics (Implementation Theory), health policy (Diffusion of Innovations Theory), and organisational behaviour (Institutional Theory). These theoretical models will form the background to a discussion of factors influencing healthcare technology and policy development both in the UK and internationally. An important part of this work will be the detailed discussion of case studies from different countries. These will link discussion of theory (general explanatory frameworks) with discussion about evaluation questions and hypotheses about future behaviour.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will make use of seminar based sessions, student-led discussions of case studies, plus additional group work sessions. Formative feedback from the tutor and student peers will be a key component of the learning environment to ensure that you can move forward in your learning.

Preparation for scheduled sessions51
Wider reading or practice30
Total study time188

Resources & Reading list

WILL, C. & MOREIRA, T.. Medical Proofs, Social Experiments: Clinical Trials in Shifting Contexts. 

LATOUR, B. (2005). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor Network Theory. 

ARTHUR, W. B. (2009). The nature of technology: What it is and how it evolves. 

WEBSTER, A. (2007). Health, Technology and Society: A Sociological Critique. 

AJZEN, I. & FISHBEIN, M. (1980). Understanding Attitudes and Predicting Social Behaviour. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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