Preprint Essay Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Are Health Innovations Techno-economic or Social Values in a period of a Health Crisis? A Reflection on the Field of Public Health through the Examples of Ebola and Covid-19

Version 1 : Received: 8 September 2020 / Approved: 10 September 2020 / Online: 10 September 2020 (06:15:43 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 24 March 2021 / Approved: 30 March 2021 / Online: 30 March 2021 (10:29:41 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Journal reference: Globalization and Health 2021, 17
DOI: 10.1186/s12992-021-00695-3


Health innovations are generally oriented on a techno-economic vision. In this perspective, technologies are seen as an end in themselves, and there is no arrangement between the technical and the social values of innovation. This vision prevails in sanitary crises, in which management is carried out based on the search for punctual, reactive, and technical solutions to remedy a specific problem without a systemic/holistic, sustainable, or proactive approach. This paper attempts to contribute to the literature on the epistemological orientation of innovations in the field of public health. Taking the Covid-19 and Ebola crises as examples, the primary objective is to show how innovation in health is oriented towards a techno-economic paradigm. Second, we propose a repositioning of public health innovation towards a social paradigm that will put more emphasis on the interaction between social and health dimensions in the perspective of social change.


health innovation; technological innovation; social innovation; public health; global health; Ebola; Covid-19

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 30 March 2021
Commenter: Marietou Niang
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: Here are the changes that I make at the request of the Journal's reviewers:
-The title has been changed;
-One sentence is added in the abstract;
-Some examples of the Ebola crisis are made through the manuscript;
-In the conclusion, we added roles that public health could take on as a health crisis.
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