The Invent Health Initiative: Empowering Inventors to Create Tools for Better Living, Better Clinical Care

Six people stand with items in their hands at the Invent Health Initiative Town Hall.

HHS Chief Technology Officer Susannah Fox with speakers and attendees of the Invent Health Town Hall held on Thursday, January 28. In their hands are just few of the many items brought in by the speakers to illustrate how the maker movement can improve health.

What does it mean to invent health? How might we empower small scale designers, builders, and developers to find creative solutions to challenges we see across the landscape of health and human services? What can we do to help build toward an Innovation Nation, where engaged and empowered individuals are at the center of health care? What will happen when everyone has access to the tools and information they need to solve their own problems—and share their ideas with others? These were some of the questions that propelled me and the HHS IDEA Lab team forward as we launched the Invent Health initiative at a town hall event held on Thursday, January 28. The initiative seeks to empower inventors both inside and outside government to create tools for better living and better clinical care. One way we hope to do this is by opening up as many channels of conversation as possible, inviting patients, caregivers, makers, big businesses, small businesses, and government agencies to come together as we all work together to invent health. With this post we are starting an Invent Health series on this blog and Medium as a way to share and spread the stories, videos, and examples of those who are making strides in this field. We want to hear your voices and there are a number of ways you can participate in, as well as follow, the conversation:

  • Visit this post (and future Invent Health blog posts) on Medium where we’ll take your comments and questions in the responses;
  • Use the #InventHealth hashtag on Twitter when you see great examples of hardware innovation in health care;
  • Visit the HHS IDEA Lab Storify page for curated conversations around this topic.

One of the core functions of the IDEA Lab is to create space for innovation. By posting and sharing what we are seeing, we hope to provide you with opportunities to make connections, collaborate, discuss, share, and, ultimately, invent.