Glossary

A

Accelerator

An incubator is a program designed to support the development of early-stage companies through an array of business support and services. Sometimes these are called Accelerators. Examples: Global Social Benefit Incubator, GrowLab, Groundwork Labs, HUB Vienna Incubation.

Source: Grand Challenges

Acute

A pattern of health care in which a patient is treated for a brief but severe episode of illness. Acute care is usually given in a hospital by specialized personnel using complex and sophisticated technical equipment and materials, and it may involve intensive or emergency care. This pattern of care is often necessary for only a short time, unlike chronic care.

Source: Medical Dictionary

Adverse Effects 

An adverse event for which the causal relation between the drug/intervention and the event is at least a reasonable possibility. The term 'adverse effect' applies to all interventions, while 'adverse drug reaction' (ADR) is used only with drugs. In the case of drugs an adverse effect tends to be seen from the point of view of the drug and an adverse reaction is seen from the point of view of the patient.

Source: The Cochrane Collaboration

Adverse Event 

An adverse outcome that occurs during or after the use of a drug or other intervention but is not necessarily caused by it.

Source: The Cochrane Collaboration

Adverse Reaction 

Unfavourable changes in health, including abnormal laboratory findings, that occur in trial participants during the clinical trial or within a specified period following the trial.

Source: clinicaltrials.gov

Angel Investor (Social Angel Investor)

An angel investor is an individual who provides mentorship and funding for a business in exchange for partial ownership in the business. Angel investors are often individuals, or groups of individuals investing their own money, and typically fund ventures before they are large enough to become attractive to venture capital.

Source: Grand Challenges

B

Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is a financial statement that shows the financial condition of a company at a given point in time. It includes three parts: assets, liabilities, and ownership equity.

Source: Grand Challenges

Biomedical Research

Research with the goal of understanding normal and abnormal human function, at the molecular, cellular, organ system and whole body levels, including the development of tools and techniques to be applied for this purpose; developing new therapies or devices which improve health or the quality of life of individuals, up to the point where they are tested on human subjects. Studies on human subjects that do not have a diagnostic or therapeutic orientation.

Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation

Business Model

A business model is how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value (economic, social, cultural, or other forms of value). The process of creating a business model is part of a business strategy. The term business model is used for a broad range of informal and formal descriptions to represent core aspects of a business, including purpose, target customers, offerings, strategies, infrastructure, organizational structures, trading practices, and operational processes and policies.  

Source: Grand Challenges

Business Plan

A business plan is a written document describing the nature of the business, the sales and marketing strategy, the financial background, and a projected profit and loss statement. It is a formal statement of a set of business goals and the plan for reaching those goals.

Source: Grand Challenges

C

Capacity

In knowledge exchange, capacity is the set of skills, structures and processes, as well as the organizational culture, that allows, encourages and rewards knowledge exchange.

Source: Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

Clinical Research 

Research with the goal of improving the diagnosis and treatment (including rehabilitation and palliation) of disease and injury; improving the health and quality of life of individuals as they pass through normal life stages. Research on, or for the treatment of, patients.

Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation

Clinical Trial 

A prospective controlled or uncontrolled research study evaluating the effects of one or more health-related interventions assigned to human participants.

Source: CIHR

Community

The provision of health and social care services outside of hospital to people with various medical conditions, to enable them to live as independently as possible in their own homes or elsewhere in the community.

Source: Medical Dictionary

Competitive Advantage

A competitive advantage is an attribute or combination of attributes that allows an organization to outperform other products or services within its industry. Competitive advantages make a product or service more attractive in comparison to alternatives. A competitive advantage may be manifested in the form of a higher quality product/service, a lower cost to a customer, or faster delivery. It is sometimes referred to as your “differentiators” or what is unique or novel about your innovation. Example: Long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) have a competitive advantage over insecticide treated nets (ITNs) for malaria prevention because they last longer and require less maintenance.  

Source: Grand Challenges

Cost Effectiveness

 In health, cost effectiveness refers to the relative costs and outcomes between different interventions. Analyzing and determining cost-effectiveness is considered vitally important because there is usually wide variation in the costs of different interventions, and budgets to acquire such interventions are often limited or restrained. Example: If the cost to vaccinate a person against a disease is less than the cost of treating that person against the same disease given the same health outcome, then the vaccine is more cost effective than treatment.

Source: Grand Challenges

Cost-Benefit Analysis

A cost-benefit analysis compares the benefits and costs of a project, decision, or government policy in financial terms. It provides a basis for comparing projects. Namely, one would compare the total expected cost of each option against the total expected benefits

Source: Grand Challenges

D

Decision-maker

Decision-makers in the health services field can range from frontline health providers to administrators to ministers of health. However, CHSRF works with two particular groups of decision-makers—managers and policy-makers. These individuals often work in health services organizations such as hospitals and regional health authorities, as well as ministries of health and relevant regulatory agencies.

Source: Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

Deliverables

In business, a deliverable is a quantifiable good or service that will be provided upon the completion of a project. Examples: A final report, product or any other requirement for a project

Source: Grand Challenges

Determinants of health

Definable entities that cause, are associated with, or induce health outcomes. Public health is fundamentally concerned with action and advocacy to address the full range of potentially modifiable determinants of health – not only those which are related to the actions of individuals, such as health behaviours and lifestyles, but also factors such as income and social status, education, employment and working conditions, access to appropriate health services, and the physical environment. These, determinants of health, in combination, create different living conditions which impact on health.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Differentiators

Unique features and/or benefits of a product, or aspects of a brand, that set it apart from competing products or brands. This relates to your “competitive advantage” and “value proposition” and the expressed novelty, innovativeness, or competitive advantage of your idea or solution. There are eleven core differentiators: new needs, performance/efficiency, customization, getting the job done, design, brand, price, cost reduction, risk reduction, accessibility and convenience.  

Source: Grand Challenges

Disease and injury prevention

Measures to prevent the occurrence of disease and injury, such as risk factor reduction, but also to arrest the progress and reduce the consequences of disease or injury once established.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Disease prevention

Measures to prevent the occurrence of disease and injury, such as risk factor reduction, but also to arrest the progress and reduce the consequences of disease once established.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovation occurs when a product or service displaces an earlier technology, often through a lower cost, higher value offering. Example: The mobile phone is disruptive innovation because it displaced corded phones, as a lower cost, more convenient option for customers.

Source: Grand Challenges

Dissemination

Dissemination goes well beyond simply making research available through the traditional vehicles of journal publication and academic conference presentations. It involves a process of extracting the main messages or key implications derived from research results and communicating them to targeted groups of decision-makers and other stakeholders in a way that encourages them to factor the research implications into their work. Face-to-face communication is encouraged whenever possible.

Source: Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

Due Diligence

In investment terms, due diligence describes the investigative processes needed to make an educated financial investment decision. It often involves the process of researching a business or person. Example: An investor performing due diligence on an opportunity to invest in a malaria bed net company might check the quality of the nets produced, examine the financial health of the organization, and learn more about the company’s owners and leaders.

Source: Grand Challenges

E

Earnings

Earnings are the amount of income that a company produces during a specific period (usually a quarter or a year). Earnings typically refer to after-tax net income.

Source: Grand Challenges

Empowerment

 A process through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health. Empowerment may be a social, cultural, psychological or political process through which individuals and social groups are able to express their needs, present their concerns, devise strategies for involvement in decision-making, and achieve political, social and cultural action to meet those needs.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

End User (Consumer)

An end user is a person who uses a product or service. End users are often referred to as the consumer of a product or service. An end user is different from a customer. A customer is the person or party that pays for a product or service. Sometimes end users are simply referred to as “users” and customers are “payors.” Example: A government (customer) will purchase vaccines to be used or consumed by its population (end users).

Source: Grand Challenges

End of a trial 

The last follow-up of the last recruited trial participant for the primary outcome as defined in the initial protocol.

Source: CIHR

Evaluation 

Efforts aimed at determining as systematically and objectively as possible the effectiveness and impact of health-related (and other) activities in relation to objectives, taking into account the resources that have been used.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Evidence

Information such as analyzed data, published research findings, results of evaluations, prior experience, expert opinions, any or all of which may be used to reach conclusions on which decisions are based.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Existing or expanding (post-pilot)

An innovation project that has a defined specified set of activities and a model that is known and implemented.

F

Financial Sustainability

Financial sustainability means having a reliable source of continuous revenue that is capable of covering all of an organization’s costs. Profitable ventures are also financially sustainable. Example: ABC Company’s revenues exceed their expenses every year. In this way, they achieve financial sustainability.

Source: Grand Challenges

Financial Innovation

Within global health, impact investing and financial innovations are non-traditional ways of financing global health innovations. This is in contrast to traditional funding such as public funds or user fees. Example: UNITAID and partner countries have implemented an air ticket levy wherein $1-$4 of the price of every airplane ticket departing from a member country is put towards funding the bulk purchase of life-saving vaccines.

Source: Grand Challenges

Fiscal Year

A period of time used for calculating annual financial statements in businesses and other organizations. A fiscal year encompasses twelve months but does not need to be aligned with a calendar year (January to December). A fiscal year may also refer to the year used for income tax reporting. It may also be known as either ab budget year or financial year.

Source: Grand Challenges

Front line provider

Front line providers carry out the bulk of day-to-day tasks in the public health sector. They work directly with clients, including individuals, families, groups and communities. Responsibilities may include information collection and analysis, fieldwork, program planning, outreach activities, program and service delivery, and other organizational tasks. Front line providers have sufficient relevant experience to work independently, with minimal supervision. Examples of front line providers are nurses, public health/environmental health inspectors, dietitians, dental hygienists and health promoters.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

G

Gender 

The socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men, and gender diverse people. It influences how people perceive themselves and each other, how they act and interact, and the distribution of power and resources in society. Gender is usually conceptualized as a binary (girl/woman and boy/man) yet there is considerable diversity in how individuals and groups understand, experience, and express it.

Source: CIHR

H

Health determinants

Definable entities that cause, are associated with, or induce health outcomes. Public health is fundamentally concerned with action and advocacy to address the full range of potentially modifiable determinants of health – not only those which are related to the actions of individuals, such as health behaviours and lifestyles, but also factors such as income and social status, education, employment and working conditions, access to appropriate health services, and the physical environment. These, determinants of health, in combination, create different living conditions which impact on health.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Health planning

A set of practices and procedures that are intended to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of health services and to improve health outcomes.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Health policy

A course or principle of action adopted or proposed by a government, political party, organization, or individual; the written or unwritten aims, objectives, targets, strategy, tactics, and plans that guide the actions of a government or an organization. Health policy is often enacted through legislation or other forms of rule-making, which define regulations and incentives that enable the provision of and access to health and social services.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Health program

A description or plan of action for an event or sequence of actions or events over a period that may be short or prolonged. More formally, an outline of the way a system or service will function, with specifics such as roles and responsibilities, expected expenditures, outcomes, etc. A health program is generally long term and often multifaceted, whereas a health project is a short-term and usually narrowly focused activity.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Health promotion

The process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve their health. It not only embraces actions directed at strengthening the skills and capabilities of individuals, but also action directed towards changing social, environmental, political and economic conditions so as to alleviate their impact on public and individual health.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Health protection 

A term to describe important activities of public health, in food hygiene, water purification, environmental sanitation, drug safety and other activities, that eliminate as far as possible the risk of adverse consequences to health attributable to environmental hazards. (A public health system core function.)

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Health Research

Research with the goal of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of health professionals and the health care system, through changes to practice and policy. Health services research is a multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviours affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and, ultimately, health and well-being.

Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation

Health Services Research

Research with the goal of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of health professionals and the health care system, through changes to practice and policy. Health services research is a multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviours affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and, ultimately, health and well-being.

Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation

I

Impact Investing

Impact Investing refers to the investment of funds (money) where some or even all the financial returns are forgone in return for an increased level of social return (social impact). Example: An impact investor may choose to invest in a company that manufactures disposable biodegradable plates and cutlery. This investor may be willing to forgo some financial return relative to another company whose products do not biodegrade because the investor wants to support a business that is trying to mitigate the environmental damage caused by the use of non-biodegradable alternatives.

Source: Grand Challenges

In-Kind

In-kind is an adjective used to describe payment or gifting in terms of goods, commodities, or services instead of money. Example: A law firm that donates free legal services to a non-profit would be making an in-kind donation to the organization.

Source: Grand Challenges

Income Statement

An income statement is a financial statement that shows the company’s revenues and expenses during a particular period. The phrase “bottom line” often refers to the last line of the income statement, where the statement displays the total profit or loss for the time period. An income statement is also called “profit and loss statement” or a “P&L.”

Source: Grand Challenges

Incubator

An incubator is a program designed to support the development of early-stage companies through an array of business support and services. Sometimes these are called Accelerators. Examples: Global Social Benefit Incubator, GrowLab, Groundwork Labs, HUB Vienna Incubation.

Source: Grand Challenges

Injury prevention

Measures to prevent the occurrence of disease and injury, such as risk factor reduction, but also to arrest the progress and reduce the consequences of injury once established.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Intellectual Property (IP)

These are creations of the mind that are granted exclusive legal rights as intangible assets. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted these rights to intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property rights include copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights, and trade secrets.

Source: Grand Challenges

K

Knowledge broker

A knowledge broker is an individual or an organization that engages in knowledge brokering.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Knowledge Exchange

Knowledge exchange is collaborative problem-solving between researchers and decision-makers that happens through linkage and exchange. Effective knowledge exchange involves interaction between decision-makers and researchers and results in mutual learning through the process of planning, producing, disseminating, and applying existing or new research in decision-making.

Source: Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

L

Licensing

Licensing involves authorizing another party to use or manufacture or use something proprietary (e.g., intellectual property, product, etc.) under specific conditions for a specified payment. Example: For a time in the 1990’s, Apple computer licensed its operating system and other core technologies to other companies manufacturing Apple-compatible systems. At the term of the licensing agreement, Apple did not renew, restoring as the sole provider of Apple technologies.  

Source: Grand Challenges

Linkage and exchange

Linkage and exchange is the process of ongoing interaction, collaboration and exchange of ideas between the researcher and decision-maker communities.

Source: Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

Long Term

The provision of medical, social, and personal care services on a recurring or continuing basis to persons with chronic physical or mental disorders. The care may be provided in environments ranging from institutions to private homes. Long-term care services usually include symptomatic treatment, maintenance, and rehabilitation for patients of all age groups.

Source: Medical Dictionary

N

No longer active

An innovation that is not currently implemented but had been previously.

O

Organizational level

An innovation applied to and measured on an organization. For example, an electronic health record system implemented within a hospital or clinic.

P

Palliative

Comfort (non-curative) care provided to the dying or to people terminally ill with an incurable disease. Palliative care is intended to improve the quality of life, by relieving pain and distressing symptoms (e.g., nausea, incontinence) and addresses physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.

Source: Medical Dictionary

Participant-level data or micro-level data 

Include data on each individual studied, with quantitative or qualitative results representing the observations on each individual. The set of all observations for an individual is called a record. Each of these records has an identifier that allows a researcher to retrieve a particular record or set of records. Micro-level data sets may contain tens of thousands of records.

Source: CIHR

Patient level

An innovation applied to and measured on individual patients or users. For example, a personal health record app that is downloaded and used by individual patients.

Policy

A course or principle of action adopted or proposed by a government, political party, organization, or individual; the written or unwritten aims, objectives, targets, strategy, tactics, and plans that guide the actions of a government or an organization. Health policy is often enacted through legislation or other forms of rule-making, which define regulations and incentives that enable the provision of and access to health and social services.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Population health assessment

Population health assessment entails understanding the health of populations and the factors that underlie health and health risks. This is frequently manifested through community health profiles and health status reports that inform priority setting and program planning, delivery and evaluation. Assessment includes consideration of physical, biological, behavioural, social, cultural, economic and other factors that affect health.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Population level

An innovation applied to and measured on groups of individual patients or users. For example, a personal health record app that is used by by a population identified at-risk for diabetes.

Prevention and Wellness

Actions directed to preventing illness and promoting health to reduce the need for secondary or tertiary health care. Prevention includes such nursing actions as assessment, including disease risk; application of prescribed measures, such as immunization; health teaching; early diagnosis and treatment; and recognition of disability limitations and rehabilitation potential.

Source: Medical Dictionary

Primary

The first contact in a given episode of illness that leads to a decision regarding a course of action to resolve the health problem. Primary care often is provided by a physician, but primary care functions are also provided by nurses.

Source: Medical Dictionary

Process

A series of operations, events, or steps leading to achievement of a specific result; also, to subject to such a series to produce desired changes.

Source: Medical Dictionary

Product

An article or healthcare product intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other condition, or for use in the care, treatment or prevention of disease, or otherwise intended for application in healthcare.

Source: Medical Dictionary

Protocol 

A document written before participant enrolment to describe the objectives, methodology, statistical analyses, organization, and administrative details of a trial.

Source: OS1

Prototype

A prototype is an early sample or model built to test a concept or process. The purpose of a prototype is to test and trial a new design to enhance precision for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one.

Source: Grand Challenges

Public Channel

In terms of scaling up, a public channel strategy uses the public sector to distribute a product or service. This does not mean that the innovator of the technology or service does not make a profit. Instead, the innovator may be profitably selling their products to public sector buyers. Most drugs, sold to public systems, are distributed via the public channel and represent a commercial, profitable transaction between the manufacturer and the government payer. Example: A public health education program for community health workers may be adopted by a government program and so will be scaled through a public channel.

Source: Grand Challenges

Public health

An organized activity of society to promote, protect, improve, and when necessary, restore the health of individuals, specified groups, or the entire population. It is a combination of sciences, skills, and values that function through collective societal activities and involve programs, services, and institutions aimed at protecting and improving the health of all people. The term “public health” can describe a concept, a social institution, a set of scientific and professional disciplines and technologies, and a form of practice. It is a way of thinking, a set of disciplines, an institution of society, and a manner of practice. It has an increasing number and variety of specialized domains and demands of its practitioners an increasing array of skills and expertise.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Public health practitioner

Public health professional, public health worker. A generic term for any person who works in a public health service or setting. They may be classified according to profession (nurse, physician, dietitian, etc.); according to role and function (direct contact with members of the public or not); whether their role is hands-on active interventions or administrative; or in various other ways.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Public health sciences

A collective name for the scholarly activities that form the scientific base for public health practice, services, and systems. Until the early 19th century, scholarly activities were limited to natural and biological sciences sometimes enlightened by empirical logic. The scientific base has broadened to include vital statistics, epidemiology, environmental sciences, biostatistics, microbiology, social and behavioral sciences, demography, genetics, nutrition, molecular biology, and more.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

R

Randomized Controlled Trial

An experiment in which investigators randomly assign eligible human research participants or other units of study (e.g., classrooms, clinics, playgrounds) into groups to receive or not receive one or more interventions that are being compared. The results are analyzed by comparing outcomes in the groups.

Source: CIHR

RCT

An acronym for Randomized Controlled Trial, an experiment in which investigators randomly assign eligible human research participants or other units of study (e.g., classrooms, clinics, playgrounds) into groups to receive or not receive one or more interventions that are being compared. The results are analyzed by comparing outcomes in the groups.

Source: CIHR

Regional/community level

An innovation applied to and measured on groups of organizations within a single region or community. For example, an electronic health record system implemented within all hospitals of a regional health unit.

Researcher 

Anyone who carries out research activities.

Source: CIHR

Return on Investment (ROI)

The benefits (or profits) yielded to an investment of time or money. While many times the financial ROI is described such as the amount of growth you might experiences from investment in the stocks of a company, returns do not always have to involve financial gain. Social returns on investment could include things like environmental protection due to money spent on land acquisition and preservation, or the social gains experienced by investing in schools for children. These social returns are still often described in monetary terms.

Source: Grand Challenges

S

Shared Value

Shared value is the creation of economic value in a way that also creates value for society (social value).

Source: Grand Challenges

Side Effect 

Any unintended effect of an intervention. Side effects are most commonly associated with pharmaceutical products, in which case they are related to the pharmacological properties of the drug at doses normally used for therapeutic purposes in humans.

Source: The Cochrane Collaboration

Stakeholders

Stakeholders are a person, group, organization, member or system that can affect or be affected by an organization’s actions. Example: A company’s stakeholders will include consumers of the company’s product or services, its employees and its investors, as well as partners and others.

Source: Grand Challenges

Startup or pilot

An innovation project done as an experiment or test and serving as a tentative model for future development, expansion or experiment.

System level

An innovation applied to and measured on a healthcare system, permeating the organizations and institutions tasked with meeting the healthcare needs of populations. For example, an electronic health record system integrated across the continuum of care in a province.

System redesign

System redesign involves making systematic changes to health systems to improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of patient care.

Source: Medical Dictionary

T

Target Market

A target market is the group of customers to whom the business has decided to aim its product or services. A well-defined target market is the first element to a marketing strategy. Sometimes the target payor will differ than the target user. Example: A company that produces tuberculosis diagnostic devices may target health clinics in areas where tuberculosis is endemic. While the target users are the clinics, the target payor may be the government who purchases the devices to be distributed to the clinics.

Source: Grand Challenges

V

Value Proposition

The Value Proposition is the essential articulation of the value that any organization, whether business or non-profit, provides to its customers. Example: Spring Health offers low cost, ubiquitous water purification to rural Indian villages. Villagers currently have a problem in that they are too small to merit existing systems, and therefore have no access to purification. Spring Health solves the problem by creating smaller scale franchises of affordable water purification

Source: Grand Challenges

Venture Capital (VC)

Financial capital (funds) typically provided to early stage companies, often in amounts of several hundred thousand to several million dollars. Venture capital firms are often investing funds provided by a third party investor, for example, a pension fund. The accountability of the venture capital fund to its investors often poses restrictions on what industries and expected returns on investment a VC can consider. There are no known venture capital funds focusing exclusively on opportunities within global health.

Source: Grand Challenges