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Program Design

  • Innovation program benchmarking, including evaluation of existing innovation and tech transfer programs

  • Strategic planning for new or existing innovation programs


  • Governance, organizational structure, staffing, investment strategy, and metrics for successful innovation programs


  • Hiring and mentoring of innovation staff


  • Educating, communicating, and socializing programs to support innovation across organization

  • Healthcare innovation trend analysis and education on innovation lifecycle

Digital Health Strategy

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  • Educating stakeholders about digital health, industry trends and opportunities in:

    • Pharma and biotech

    • Medical devices

    • Hospitals

    • Therapeutic areas

  • Developing custom digital health frameworks and strategic roadmaps for high-impact digital health programs

  • Building internal digital health capabilities

  • Identifying and developing partnerships with start-ups and tech companies

Innovation Activities

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  • Advising on strategic choice of virtual and/or in-person innovation activities including:

    • Online challenges

    • Hackathons

    • Pitch events

    • Conferences

  • Assisting in theme selection

  • Supporting all aspects of innovation activity planning including policies, marketing and promotions, legal issues, and partnerships

  • Advising on prizes, judges, and logistics

  • Complete event planning and execution

Case Studies

Case Studies

Case Study #1

 Redesigning the Innovation Program at an Academic Medical Center

According to a recent survey of Chief Innovation Officers, culture is the biggest barrier to innovation in health care systems. Budget, talent, and process were also cited as other major obstacles.


So when an academic medical center (AMC) needed a strategic redesign of their existing innovation program to create a thriving culture, they retained Health Innovation Strategies. We worked closely with the AMC’s top clinical and administrative leadership to develop the strategic plan for a new innovation program. The goal was to create a program that would increase benefit from the exploration of new ideas and empower clinicians to be innovators.

Some of the key steps of the strategic redesign process included:

  • Evaluation of existing programs to identify missing capabilities

  • Guidance on the creation of clear innovation objectives

  • Development of the organizational infrastructure, metrics, staffing plan, and budget needed to build a successful innovation program

  • Creation of a detailed three-year strategic deployment plan

  • Identification of possible barriers to success and the development of mitigation plans

  • Assistance with recruitment and hiring of the AMC’s first Chief Innovation Officer

With a well-articulated strategic plan in place, key stakeholders within the AMC rallied around the newly redesigned innovation program.  The initiative gained support, momentum, and visibility across the organization. The innovation program is now running successfully and has been recognized as a national center-of-excellence in innovation.  It was also awarded a national grant to manage a regional innovation consortium.

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Innovation Lifecycle

Case Study #2
Developing a Centralized Digital Health Strategy for Big Pharma

As more pharmaceutical companies invest in digital health strategies, it raises a number of questions that have yet to be answered: Which technologies will improve patient outcomes? How can we differentiate between real value and hype? What are the critical steps in implementing innovation?

A global pharmaceutical company turned to Health Innovation Strategies when they needed a cohesive digital health strategy. They wanted to centralize an assortment of digital health initiatives and pilot programs. Health Innovation Strategies partnered with them to assist in developing an effective, thoughtful, coherent digital health strategy.

Health Innovation Strategies approached this project in three phases:

Phase 1: Building the digital health framework

First, Health Innovation Strategies launched a comprehensive initiative to assess existing digital health activities, identify deficiencies, and strategize ways to pursue new opportunities. We created a conceptual framework for the pharmaceutical’s digital health strategy.  We organized all of the company’s current and previous digital health projects within the framework.

We tailored the new framework to the company’s major stakeholders: clinical trial participants, healthcare providers, payers, and researchers. We identified unmet patient and provider needs in key therapeutic areas. Based on these findings, we created a strategic road map to address these needs.

Phase 2: Implementing a digital health education program

After building the digital health framework, we shifted gears to explore how to best provide digital health education to company employees. We developed a lexicon that employees could use to learn the definition of digital health terms. We launched an internal website focused on digital health education. Health Innovation Strategies also advised and assisted in the launch of an internal digital health speaker series.

Phase 3: Supporting the strategic plan implementation

In the final phase, the new digital health framework was socialized across the organization. We developed pilot projects in key therapeutic areas which had been identified during Phase 1. Health Innovation Strategies facilitated introductions to digital health startups in the relevant areas. We also helped establish a governance structure with clear accountability, project ownership and decision-making processes for the new digital health program.

Since Health Innovation Strategies completed the project, this global pharmaceutical company has launched several successful digital health projects, some of which have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Beyond these major successes, this pharmaceutical’s digital health program continues to explore, test, and implement new patient-facing digital health initiatives, making the company one of the most innovative leaders in the industry. 

Case Study #3
Pharma Open Innovation Challenge Identifies Digital Health Innovation Opportunities, Engages Patient Community

Pharmaceutical companies are starting to turn to external partners to deploy digital technologies, such as mobile apps, sensors, wearables, and games to improve the patient experience.

Before a major global pharmaceutical company had a drug on the market for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), it wanted to better understand the condition and identify solutions that would enhance care for patients. The firm retained Health Innovation Strategies to help it engage the digital health community to identify new ways to address IBD.

Health Innovation Strategies worked closely with this pharma company to establish its first open innovation challenge to identify solutions for better disease monitoring, condition management, and care enhancements.


Health Innovation Strategies provided extensive support in the planning and production of this innovation challenge. We worked closely with the pharma to develop the legal terms and conditions for the challenge. We helped guide the creation of the participation criteria, the judging process, and the contest rules. Health Innovation Strategies also assisted in evaluating, selecting, and configuring a technology platform for the challenge. We ensured the platform had the necessary content and features, including appropriate data integrity and security. 

Close to 70 submissions were received. Each submission was evaluated by a panel of expert judges from both within and outside the pharma. Five finalists were selected based on the impact, novelty, and technical feasibility of their ideas. The finalists were then invited to present their ideas at a pitch event at the company's headquarters. The winning team was awarded a cash prize and the opportunity to co-develop their solution with the pharma.

The innovation challenge helped this pharma to engage the IBD patient community, generating awareness around its commitment to improving patient care. It also helped the firm identify a variety of potential digital health partners. Furthermore, the innovation challenge raised this pharma’s profile in the digital health community.

Our Clients

Organizations We Have Supported

Mount Sinai


“When Cook Children’s Health Care System made the decision to formally develop an innovation program its first step was to seek out a knowledgeable and experienced professional to provide expert guidance along this challenging journey.  Fortunately, Cook Children’s connected with Naomi Fried, Ph.D. of Health Innovation Strategies.  In six short months, Naomi moved the needle from vague concept to a vital reality.  Her depth of knowledge and hard work was key to establishing the foundation of our new innovation department.  We are confident that the nascent program will enhance the care that Cook Children’s delivers to its patients and families.” ~ Senior Clinical Leader, Cook Children’s 

“Naomi brought a great deal of knowledge and experience in the area of pediatric innovation.  She worked closely with us on producing concrete programs for advancing innovation at our center. Naomi was timely in meeting deadlines and brought great experience and perspective into our conversations and planning.  She was an absolute pleasure to work with.”
~ Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles

"We have been interested in developing a better vehicle for innovation within our organization.  Health Innovation Strategies brought a great deal of experience and best practices to help us better understand the proper structure needed to spur innovation. Naomi is very experienced in developing and operationalizing innovation functions within the healthcare industry. She maintains a good balance between advising which elements are the key drivers for innovation centers and allowing flexibility to create a fit within the existing culture of our organization."
~Senior Hospital Administrator

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