Proof of Concept Testing through Innovation Exchanges for Health IT

Wil Yu | September 2, 2011

Quick Note: This is one of many blog posts that I will be writing in September that highlights how innovation leadership within the health IT and health care communities is changing the health IT landscape. I’ll cover efforts being championed within the White House, ONC/HHS, and the broader environment, that are helping to usher in a wave of new technologies and services that will lead to better health care, health, and cost savings through continuous quality improvement.

Proof of Concept Testing – Connecting Early Stage Innovators to Stakeholders

One of the more exciting initiatives taking place is a unique effort to unite early stage innovators with the broader ecosystem to shepherd and nurture new technological development.

One of the greatest challenges facing any health care innovator is to develop ideas with the broader environment – working with a myriad of stakeholders in an appropriate manner to obtain the crucial data needed to validate the effectiveness, value, and strategy tied to the innovation. I’m referring to getting to the critical stage known as the proof-of-concept.

New White House Startup America Initiative

Realizing that getting to this stage requires substantial time and resources, I’m pleased to report that the White House Startup America Initiative, in partnership with HHS, is promoting an effort called Innovation Exchanges for Health IT – a model that promotes facilitated forums that assemble a collection of early stage, near-proof-of-concept innovators with forward looking health care organizations.  The explicit goal of this program is to identify opportunities for testbeds to support innovative development.  This is a first-of-a-kind initiative that helps to cross stakeholder lines in the interest of innovation.

The benefits of these proof-of-concept exchanges are apparent:

  • Health care organizations that participate can identify potential future developers that they wish to collaborate with from a host of candidates in a single day, substantially lowering their search costs.
  • Innovators can find potential partners by presenting to a dozen organizations at once – saving precious time and accelerating their development timelines.

While not meant to be a commercial opportunity, participants are free to identify scope and duration of their collaborations.

More Innovation Events Scheduled

The first Innovation Exchange for Health IT took place in Philadelphia earlier this year, under the leadership of BluePrint Health IT.   We’ll see at least three more events taking place in Indianapolis (October), San Francisco (September), and in the New England area (October) sponsored by a variety of organizations.

As I’ve noted before, community building is an essential step in the innovation process.  These exchanges are an attempt to provide the opportunity to forge the relationships needed to sustain those communities.

Feel free to contact me, Wil Yu, Special Assistant, Innovations, if you would like to participate in a future exchange.