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What Sparked Five Years of Innovation?

Posted on March 17, 2016 by Jennifer Zelmer

“What makes you think that you’re so smart that you can guess the winners?”

This provocative question came from an academic specializing in innovation studies in 2010. At the time, I was seeking advice on how to shape our strategy for new investments in digital health innovation. Emphasizing the research that shows that it is very rare to be able to consistently identify promising early stage advances, he suggested only investing in established solutions. That did not fit with the needs that we had heard from stakeholders across the country, but his first question did prompt a deeper look at how we might best pursue our goals.

Our answer: the ImagineNation series of open innovation challenges.

Five years on, we have hosted 10 challenges directly and partnered on many more. The community of innovators that the challenges have brought together have generated a range of new ideas for improving health and health care, used creative means to share important public health messages, delivered timely answers to pressing policy questions with data analytics, seen consumer and clinical digital health solutions used 74 million times, and much more.

To celebrate this five year anniversary, we will be releasing a series of 5-point snapshots about the Challenges: what worked, what did not, and resources for those who wish to explore open innovation further. By sharing our experiences, we hope that this information will be as thought-provoking for others as the question that started us on this journey was for me.

Join us in celebrating our 5th Anniversary!


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jzelmer 100Jennifer Zelmer

Jennifer’s expertise as a senior strategist in health and health system improvement is instrumental in her role as Executive Vice President, leading Infoway's clinical adoption, innovation and consumer health initiatives.

RT @JnothingSmith: The conference is 4 webimars, once a month, culminating in the day-long event in the fall. I am on the planning committe…

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