The Contribution of Information Science through Intellectual Property to Innovation in the Brazilian Health Sector

The Contribution of Information Science through Intellectual Property to Innovation in the Brazilian Health Sector

Adelaide Maria de Souza Antunes, Flavia Maria Lins Mendes, Suzanne de Oliveira Rodrigues Schumacher, Luc Quoniam, Jorge Lima de Magalhães
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4562-2.ch005
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In response to the challenges of the 21st century, emerging countries have played an increasingly leading role in the global economy, and public health has been a notable feature of the government agendas in these countries. According to the IMF, Brazil is one of the countries with the greatest potential to stand out in this context. The quantity of research and development into technologies for drugs and medications is important for supporting innovation in the health sector. Information science can therefore help considerably in the analysis of patents, indicating trends, revealing opportunities for investors, and assisting the decision-taking process by private sector managers and government agents. This study is based on the extraction of valuable information contained in the hidden Web through technology foresight of products deemed strategic by the Brazilian Ministry of Heath, which are the target of public policies and investments by the state for domestic production.
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The activities of companies, research groups, institutions and national governments are effective when they attribute value and quality to their information. These critical factors are crucial for organizations’ success in their domestic and international planning, whatever their long- and short-term strategies.

Hence, identify and analyze the amount of scientific information and state of the art with respective correlations has become hard work. The world's technological per-capita capacity to store information has roughly doubled every 40 months since the 1980s. As of 2012, every day 2.5 quintillion (2.5×1018) bytes of data were created (Lynch, 2008). So, the challenge for Science and enterprises is managing Big Data for scientific visualization and transformation of these data as strategic information to decision makers.

Intellectual property capital is an important asset for businesses, and knowledge is becoming increasingly crucial for competitiveness, technology and therefore economic development. This is particularly true for technology-intensive sectors, where knowledge is regarded as a company’s most valuable asset (Miller, 2000).

This is why it is so important for organizations to invest in research, development and innovation if they are to remain active and competitive. Information science has tools that can help organizations produce, treat, store and manage data on any activities or processes, resulting in more effective management for innovation. With the increasingly turbulent, complex and competitive conditions in the markets in which companies operate, the use of industrial/intellectual property has become a way of assuring the continuation of their activities into the future by protecting innovations and restricting how their competitors can act. The industrial property information contained in patents identifies the latest science and technology developments, which also makes it a powerful competitive weapon (Pierret, 2005).

It is widely known that the mechanisms for mining information have developed from “manuals” to dedicated portals or Websites (from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0)–we have progressed towards mass information that is obtainable by automated means. This new paradigm allows huge quantities of data to be downloaded in different formats, but it cannot process this data to produce indicators that can actually help decision-makers. This is why studies are required using information science, such as technology trends (Quoniam, 2011).

According to the World Economic Outlook Database maintained by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the official Brazilian statistics agency, Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), Brazil is one of the emerging nations set to stand out most on the international stage for its development and economic growth (IBGE, 2012). Brazil’s gross domestic product grew by 250 percent from 2006 to 2012, reaching around R$ 2.5 trillion. Yet despite this promising scenario, one of the many parameters of domestic consumption, or development, in the Brazilian trade balance is a “family” of health-related items, which in 2012 reached a deficit of R$ 12 billion. This group of products includes drugs, medications, equipment and diagnoses for public health (Gadelha, 2012).

The Brazilian National Policy guidelines state that all actions should strengthen innovation in the Brazilian health sector and also help to mitigate the R$ 12 billion deficit in drugs and medications in the Brazilian trade balance (Gadelha, 2012). According to the Oslo Manual published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), there are four kinds of innovation: product innovation, process innovation, organizational innovation and marketing innovation, as well as a combination of any of the above. This means that not just knowing about, but monitoring scientific publications, patents, and networks of authors and institutions may help a country to develop its science, technology and economic development (Magalhaes, 2012). In this Brazilian case study, we will highlight product and process innovation opportunities for the list of medications used by the Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde, SUS), thereby helping to reduce the trade balance, since innovation can impact even established and approved markets.

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