Susannah Fox, CTO of the US Department of Health and Human Services, has a great post on Medium about creating innovation in the health sector.
A big part of my role as the Chief Technology Officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to create space for innovation.
I help run the HHS IDEA Lab, which was established in 2013 to improve how HHS delivers on its mission. Our strategy, in a nutshell, is to help our colleagues set audacious goals and then invite people to assist, from inside and outside of the federal government.
In alignment with this vision, we launched an initiative called Invent Health designed to empower inventors to create tools for better living and better clinical care. We are widening the definition of “technology” to include hardware, medical and assistive devices, because we believe that the democratization of design and manufacturing tools is going to follow the same path as we saw in the democratization of access to information and data.
The widespread popularity of 3D printers has created an opportunity for the production of custom-designed assistive devices like prosthetic hands and arms. E-NABLEis a network of volunteers who will take an order, for example, from someone who has lost their fingers or has a birth difference, but would like to be able to pick up an object. This peer-to-peer community shares open-source prototypes and publishes their design files in the public domain so that anyone can copy and improve on their ideas.