Despite broad public support for disruptive innovation to address global challenges, issues such as lack of equal access are likely to stall progress, a new international survey released by Philip Morris International reveals. Commissioned by PMI and conducted by independent research agency Povaddo, the survey shows that 89 percent of adults across 14 countries believe that new technologies and innovations can play an important role in improving public health. However, 38 percent feel such innovations are not accessible to all citizens in their countries.
The more than 17,000 survey respondents aged 21 and older believe that the development and adoption of new technologies, innovations and capabilities can enable significant progress against a range of issues over the next 10 years to 20 years, including: encouraging healthier eating habits (78 percent); ensuring quality and affordable healthcare for all (72 percent); reducing smoking rates (65 percent); and eliminating hunger and malnourishment (62 percent).
“Disruptive innovation can drive progress for the world and achieve things few people imagined possible until recently,” said Gregoire Verdeaux, senior vice president of external affairs at PMI, in a statement. “But when the benefits of that disruption are not equally available to all, innovation fails to achieve its full potential. Pragmatic policy frameworks that anticipate innovations are needed so businesses and governments can ensure more equitable outcomes and a lasting impact for all.”
The international survey also highlights the potential of positive disruption in tobacco harm reduction—with 64 percent of respondents stating that new technologies and innovations can play an important role in helping replace cigarettes with less harmful alternatives for those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke.
“Today, with technological advances and scientific validation, we have an unprecedented opportunity to enact a major public health breakthrough—to effectively eradicate smoking faster,” added Verdeaux. “We can make this the tipping point at which millions of adult smokers are given accurate information about and access to innovative smoke-free products that are a much better choice than continued smoking. But for that to happen, all parties—businesses, governments, public health authorities—must work together.”