BOX 7-2 Typology of Technology Adopters

The fastest individuals or groups to adopt new technologies are the innovators who tend to be wealthier than average or otherwise able to accept the risks and costs inherent in innovation. They are not opinion leaders; in fact, they may be thought of as mavericks or may appear to be heavily invested personally in a specialized topic. The next group is the early adopters. They are opinion leaders who do not tend to search as widely as the innovators, but do seek out the innovators. Such people are generally testing several innovations at once. Early adopters are often elected as leaders of professional groups, and they are the likeliest targets of pharmaceutical or device company detailing. The next third of the distribution is the early majority, who tend to learn mainly from people they know well. They tend to travel less and interact less with the innovators than do the early adopters. The next group, another third of the population, is more conservative: the late majority. They will adopt an innovation when it appears to be the new standard of practice, but not before. Members of the final group are termed “laggards,” although traditionalists is perhaps a better term. They are the physicians who swear by the tried and true.

SOURCE: Text quoted from Donald Berwick. Disseminating Innovations in Health Care (JAMA 2004) based on typology developed by Everett Rogers (Diffusion of Innovations).

From: 7, Translating New Technologies into Improved Patient Outcomes

Cover of Saving Women's Lives
Saving Women's Lives: Strategies for Improving Breast Cancer Detection and Diagnosis.
Institute of Medicine (US) and National Research Council (US) Committee on New Approaches to Early Detection and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer; Joy JE, Penhoet EE, Petitti DB, editors.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2005.
Copyright © 2005, National Academy of Sciences.

NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.