IDHA supports innovation at Boston Children’s by providing Advisory Services to innovators across the organization with ideas for novel digital health solutions that have the potential to impact the healthcare community beyond the hospital. Our team provides ideation, business, and technical strategy support to innovators with solution ideas at all stages of maturity. Whether you have identified an unmet need and want to actively explore the possibility for a new innovation, just have the beginnings of an idea for a solution, or have already begun to build out your product, our goal is to provide direction and support in driving next steps. IDHA’s Advisory Services aims to empower innovators to scale new technologies within and beyond the four walls of the hospital, and to understand the potential trajectory for their ideas. IDHA Advisory Services can be requested through the Advisory Services Request Form.

Please note that Advisory Services are the first step in exploring a potential longer-term partnership with IDHA and that, while the primary purpose is to provide guidance to innovators, these services also allow IDHA to gain a better understanding of solution potential and assess future incubation opportunities.

Menu of offerings

Our team offers a number of different services based on idea stage, innovator interest, and IDHA skillset. A sample list of services that can be requested through the Advisory Services Request Form is included below.

  • market overview and trends: exploration of relevant market(s)
  • value proposition definition: documentation of proposed impact and value to customer(s)
  • target population analysis: definition of primary user and population size
  • target customer determination: identification of primary target customer
  • user/customer interview best practices: sharing of guidelines for productive user interview
  • level of effort analysis: documentation of and resource estimates for features included in a minimum viable product (MVP)
  • wireframe development: design of images that display functional elements of a website or application
  • MVP requirements definition: translation of the value proposition into product capabilities
  • product roadmap: development of product pathway from minimum viable product to scale

Our services are typically delivered through an innovation workshop (and via tailored follow-up deliverables), which is a collaborative and interactive meeting with the innovator and led by IDHA team experts.


While the IDHA Advisory Services team strives to support as many innovators as possible, there are times when we are not suited to offer our services to a specific idea. With this in mind, we have developed a set of criteria for Advisory Service requests. Advisory Services will be offered for all requests that meet the following criteria:

  • Unmet need: The pain point addressed by the solution idea – or poised for solutioning – must not be:
    • addressable through a non-digital solution (i.e., workflow or process update)
    • addressable by an existing market solution
    • best solved through an existing Boston Children’s system update
    • currently the focus of or addressed by ongoing initiatives at the hospital
  • Validated problem: The pain point addressed by the solution idea – or poised for solutioning – must be a confirmed pain point felt by patients, families, providers, and/or staff
  • Mission alignment: The solution idea – or potential solution, if starting at the solutioning stage – must support Boston Children’s and/or the broader healthcare community
  • Impact: The solution idea – or potential solution, if starting at the solutioning stage – must provide measurable and meaningful value to its users or customers in terms of outcomes, efficiency, experience, and/or cost
  • Solution champion: A Boston Children’s employee must be willing and able to act as a solution champion, engaging in the innovation process with IDHA and actively championing efforts to push the idea forward

If your request meets the criteria above, please submit it through the Advisory Services Request Form.

Process details

Requesting advisory services

Advisory services can be requested through the Advisory Services Request Form. IDHA collects requests on a rolling basis. All Boston Children’s employees are encouraged to request services.

After a request for advisory services is received, IDHA engages in a vetting and research process to identify how to best support the innovator. This process may include some of the following components:

  • Solution exploration calls: Solution exploration calls are often the first step for many advisory service requests. These 30-minute calls are an opportunity for the IDHA team to understand the request in more detail, evaluate alignment with request criteria, and begin to determine areas for support, if applicable. These calls are also an opportunity for Innovators to share additional information about their pain point and solution (if past the solutioning phase), ask questions of the IDHA team, and learn more about the types of support that is available through Advisory Services.
  • Innovation workshops: Innovation workshops are a collaborative and interactive meeting with the innovator led by IDHA team experts, through which many of our advisory services are delivered. Innovators may receive ideation, business, technology, or product strategy support during the workshop via tailored discussion and/or activities. Contents of the workshops are drawn from predefined modules with tailoring to each unique solution, and can range from ideation support to business, technical, or product strategy guidance. Innovators will receive a workshop proposal in advance of the workshop that outlines the workshop content that the IDHA team determines to be most suitable to the stage, content, and development of the solution. The proposal document will additionally outline expectations for engagement from the innovator. Workshop content will be included in the proposal so that all parties – innovator and IDHA team – understand the scope, goals, and outcomes of the workshop.
  • Workshop output: Upon completion of the innovation workshop, the IDHA team may create tailored deliverables including outputs from the workshop discussions and activities, recommended next steps for innovators to further their ideas, or resources to aid innovators as they progress their ideas. In many cases, due to the highly customized nature of these deliverables, innovators can expect to receive their deliverables one to two months after the workshop occurs.

The IDHA team encourages innovators to re-engage the team for further support after progressing their solution through the recommended next steps.