Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Medical Innovation

Which idea is likely to make the biggest impact on healthcare by 2020?

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 04 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1998
  1. Sabreena Malik, clinical community editor
  1. 1BMJ, London WC1H 9JR, UK
  1. smalik{at}

In the BMJ’s debate to find the idea that will most influence healthcare in the next few years, innovations aimed at low income countries were pitted against others that could transform health in richer nations. Sabreena Malik reports

New inventions and discoveries continuously change the face of healthcare. Smallpox vaccination, penicillin, in vitro fertilisation, magnetic resonance imaging— the list is long. But what’s next?

At the 2011 Innovation Expo conference in London in March, the BMJ invited four innovation champions and an expert guest panel—NHS medical director, Bruce Keogh; founder of Medical Futures, Andy Goldberg; and science journalist Vivienne Parry—to decide on the idea most likely to make the biggest impact on healthcare by 2020.

The champions, selected by BMJ clinical adviser, Ashley McKimm, battled it out in front of an eager audience of conference delegates.

Do it yourself spectacles

Josh Silver, inventor of the world’s first self adjustable spectacles, believes bringing corrective eyewear to those who need it for about £1 (€1.1; $1.6)—and without the need for eyecare professionals—will have huge influences on education, quality of life, and poverty worldwide.

Professor Silver is director of the Centre for Vision in the Developing …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription