HHS joins new push for health innovation

The Department of Health and Human Services is supporting an effort by 10 entrepreneurs to come up with solutions to 10 healthcare problems in 10 days.

ADVERTISEMENT
The endeavor is part of a new event in Denver called 10.10.10, which is looking for solutions to tough problems that could become the basis for start-up companies. 

The 10 problems being explored in the event, which began on Monday, include Alzheimer's, childhood obesity, and health data. 

"The U.S. health and healthcare systems that have lagged behind, or maybe even been resistant to entrepreneur-driven innovation, are at a critical inflection point," Bryan Sivak, HHS chief technology officer, said in an interview in support of the 10.10.10 effort. "The needs are great and this is more important than ever before."

Sivak pointed to the HHS Ideas Lab as having a similar goal. That team focuses on innovation at HHS with projects such as making autism research easier to share and making people's Medicare claims history more easily available to them. 

The 10 entrepreneurs in the 10.10.10 effort come from a range of fields, from the CEO of a medical device company to the founder of a radio streaming firm.

The effort is partnered with the nonprofit Colorado Health Foundation, as well as other groups, including the insurer Kaiser Permanente Colorado.

The kick-off event on Monday at the civic center in Denver was sold out, as advocates around each problem pitched the entrepreneurs on the need for solutions to their issue.

“Despite the complexity of some of the challenges within the realm of health and health care,” Sivak said, “there’s nothing but opportunity to think differently and to bring innovative ideas to the forefront.”