Data-Driven Innovation for COVID-19


The Covid-19 pandemic demands data sharing in near-real time. When the pandemic hit last year, Dr. Kristen Honey advised the White House National Security Council (NSC) and HHS Chief Information Officer (CIO) on big-data sharing, governance, analysis, and predictive analytics with AI/ML through HHS Protect and Vison.

During the pandemic, she also stood up the Office of the Chief Data Officer (OCDO). The mission of the InnovationX team is to build a healthier and more equitable nation using the power of technology, open data, and public health innovation. This team tackles complex challenges by harnessing the power of open data, open science, open source, crowdsourcing, prizes, challenges, and innovative public-private collaborations for public health.
These methods are used to collaborate with stakeholders across multiple sectors to accelerate scientific and public health insights.

HHS is currently engaged in better understanding and leading around COVID-19 diagnostics.
The team gathers value from government data through open data roundtables. These roundtables bring together data providers and their users to identify high-value datasets, find action-oriented solutions to data problems, catalyze research emerging data issues, and establish new collaborations. Valuable information is also gathered through design-a-thons, a public-facing open innovation sprint that connects industry with the U.S. government and allows teams to work quickly to design software that can scale to address a public health need.

In November 2020, the InnovationX team created the COVID-19 At-Anywhere Diagnostics Design-a-thon where they brought together innovate private-sector tech teams and data-driven public sector leaders to address one of our most difficult problems using federal open data standards -diagnosing COVID-19 infections. With the COVID-19 TOPx Technology Sprint, HHS collaborated with industry-led teams to transform HHS open data and data standards into digital tools with practical, real-world applications. The Opportunity Project (TOP) and COVID-19 TOPx technology sprints which developed solutions for data capture, harmonization, and reporting from COVID-19 diagnostics tests.

This team plays a critical role in advancing and transforming HHS into a data-driven department to produce evidence-based policies and improve the health and wellbeing of all Americans.


As the Deputy Chief Data Officer of Strategy at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), I play a critical role in advancing and transforming HHS headquarters into a data-driven culture while ensuring optimal use of data to produce evidence-based policymaking and improvements of operations. Prior to joining HHS, I served in the White House for 3 years across 2 Administrations, first working as a Policy Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Advisor in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and then as a Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

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