HHS InnovationX forms coalitions and collaborations to tackle "wicked problems" with diverse stakeholders while leveraging resources from all sectors to accelerate innovation and scale solutions for real-world impact.

Our Methods

Data-Driven Innovation

  • Open Data: Open data is information that may be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike.
  • Open Science: Open Science involves the free distribution of scientific research and facilitating access to science — often using distributed networks, new digital technologies, and collaborative tools.
  • Crowdsourcing: Crowdsourcing is the practice of turning to a body of people to obtain needed knowledge, data, or information.
  • Sprints: Structured, fast-paced, agile cycles of collaboration that accelerate the pace of digital innovation and technology development.

Human-Centered Innovation

  • Customer Interviews and Ethnography: Interviews with customers allow policymakers, program managers, and public health decision makers to get a glimpse into how “customers,” or people with lived experience with a health problem, interact with this issue, ultimately to drive new solutions and innovations.
  • Personas: Personas are tools developed as a reference model that each represent a specific type of user, or behavioral archetype without expressing a defined personality or socio-demographic.
  • Journey Maps: Journey maps are a synthesized step-by-step representation that describes how a user interacts with a health problem.

Collaborative Innovation & Partnerships

  • Public-Private Partnerships: Public-private partnerships involve collaboration between a government agency and a private-sector company that can be used to finance, build, and operate projects, or most commonly prize competitions.
  • Competitions, Prizes and Challenges: HHS follows the America COMPETES Act authority and is able to carry out a program to award prizes competitively to stimulate innovation that has the potential to advance the health and human services of the country.
  • Accelerators: Accelerators provide intensive and time-limited government, advisory and support for cohorts of startups, aiming to prepare them to advance towards solving necessary public health problems through innovative and disruptive solutions.
  • Citizen Science: Citizen science is when the public participates voluntarily in the scientific process, addressing real-world problems in ways that may include formulating research questions, conducting scientific experiments, collecting and analyzing data, interpreting results, making new discoveries, developing technologies and applications, and solving complex problems.
  • Strategies & Collaboratives: Collaborative innovation is a process by which multiple players contribute towards creating solutions, programs, policies, strategic directives and more with relevant and diverse stakeholders.

COVID-19 Data-Driven Innovation

Tools to drive innovation by making COVID-19 data more accessible.

Human-Centered Design

A program dedicated to unlocking new insights into health and health care challenges.


A partnership between HHS and the American Society of Nephrology to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases.

Lyme Innovation

An initiative that harnesses the power of collaboration, open innovation, data-driven innovation, and emerging technologies for Lyme and tick-borne diseases.


An innovation accelerator using digital tools and public data to eliminate disparities exacerbated by COVID-19.

Vector-Borne Disease National Strategy

In response to the Kay Hagan Tick Act of 2019, the federal government has identified a plan to address vector-borne diseases.

Content created by Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH)
Content last reviewed