Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation

Penn Medicine’s History of Innovation


Penn Medicine enjoys a long legacy of innovation. Whether through conducting game-changing research, providing world-class clinical care, or delivering medical education, Penn Medicine has been converting ideas into reality for hundreds of years.


In an era of reform in the health care industry, it is important that we rethink how we do things – how we deliver care, create experiences for our patients, and run our operations. One of The Center for Health Care Innovation ’s goals is to be a facilitator of innovation at Penn Medicine – to provide resources, tools, and methodologies that support experiments aimed at achieving positive health outcomes and better patient experiences at lower costs – and to run these experiments quickly and cost-effectively.

The establishment of The Center for Health Care Innovation does not mark the beginning of innovation at Penn Medicine. It is the logical next step that will help distribute innovative methodologies into everything that we do. To learn about our approach, click here.


Some of Penn Medicine’s many innovations include:

  • 1890 Captured world’s first X-ray image
  • 1951 Built first dialysis machine
  • 1967 Nobel Prize for Medicine: Discoveries concerning the primary physiological and chemical visual processes in the eye
  • 1972 Nobel Prize in Medicine: Discoveries about the chemical structure of antibodies
  • 1975 Develop Retin-A
  • 1976 Nobel Prize for Medicine: Discoveries concerning new mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases
  • 1985 Nobel Prize for Medicine: Discoveries concerning the regulation of cholesterol metabolism. First gamete intra-fallopian transfer pregnancy in the Philadelphia region.
  • 1997 Nobel Prize for Medicine: Discovery of a new principle of infection. Discovered that PCOS, one of the major causes of infertility, is a genetic disease.
  • 2008 Restored sight to patients with type of congenital blindness using gene therapy.
  • 2009 - present Pioneered biomarker tests for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Developed advances in robotic surgery for complex urologic, gynecologic, and neurosurgical procedures.
  • 2012 Creation of the Penn Medicine Center for Innovation

Shivan Mehta, MD, MBA, Director of Operations, discusses the how the Center for Innovation is working to connect innovative work being done through Penn Medicine.