Thank you for your interest in the Invent Health Initiative. The Invent Health Initiative is no longer an active program supported by the HHS IDEA Lab.
Here are resources you can use to learn more or participate:
Join the Maker Listserv for Federal Employees
The General Services Administration (GSA) hosts a federal-wide discussion group about the Maker movement (be sure to use your government email when signing up).
Reach Out to Points of Contact in Health and Human Services
Meghan Coakley McCarthy, the Project Lead for the NIH 3D Print Exchange, is a moderator for the listserv. Her expertise is in developing and promoting open source tools and Maker technologies, especially 3D printing, that advance biomedical discovery, healthcare, and STEM education.
Juliana Cyril, Director of the Office of Technology and Innovation at the CDC, recently organized the CDC’s first Maker Faire and is eager to learn more about device innovation initiatives inside and outside the federal government. You can find her on Twitter here.
James Coburn, Senior Research Engineer in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at FDA, has expertise is in device design principles and 3D printing technologies for medical devices with an emphasis on orthopedic, physical medicine, and rehabilitation devices. He shared the following resources:
Finally, you may choose to read or join conversations about the Maker movement as it relates to medical and assistive device innovation by following the hashtags #InventHealth and #MakeHealth on Twitter.
Connect to Innovators in Government
If you are interested in being linked into our community of innovators across government, subscribe to our Hack Red Tape listserv (open to all Gov employees) and we are always interested in hearing about innovative efforts across the Department. Feel free to drop us a line (open to all Gov employees).
About – What is the Invent Health initiative?
Now, more than ever before, American ingenuity is being unleashed on some of our most vexing problems in health and health care. The Invent Health initiative seeks to empower inventors both inside and outside government to create tools for better living and better clinical care.
When we say inventors, we mean anyone who designs, builds, develops creative physical solutions (objects, wearables, devices) with an eye toward improving the health of themselves and others.
Small-scale inventors are creating solutions to home health and clinical care challenges to help people live more independently, in better health, and with greater dignity. (See the Examples section.)
Yet many of these innovators lack access to the tools and information that would help them explore, test, and take their ideas to scale. Government plays a vital role in this ecosystem. How might we serve as a platform to help overcome barriers? We also believe that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) can provide data and resources to help spark interest in high-priority areas that would benefit from fresh perspectives.
Invent Health will also shine a spotlight on communities of innovators working with and inside government. Indeed, HHS is already engaged in work related to hardware innovation.
For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently hosted a challenge competition in food safety that yielded five hardware innovations aimed at rapid detection of Salmonella. Also, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sponsored a challenge competition to aid first responders who need to locate and prioritize people with electricity-dependent durable medical equipment who have lost power during natural disasters. And, at the National Institutes of Health, a team created the 3D Print Exchange to support networks of inventors who are creating tools for biomedical research. This platform also enables the sharing of designs for on-demand, low-cost prosthetics and assistive devices.
Invent Health advances the Secretary’s innovation agenda and the Department’s strategic goal to advance scientific knowledge, by highlighting and supporting a fast-growing ecosystem of inventors focused on the hardware of health and human services. By facilitating a series of structured engagements with stakeholders, Invent Health will identify key areas to help catalyze further innovation and help all of us to better understand how the maker movement will affect our work at HHS.
Interested in more background on the Invent Health Initiative? Click here.