Boston Children's innovation chief Naomi Fried leaves for Biogen

By Jonah Comstock
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Naomi Fried, Boston Children's HospitalNaomi Fried, Boston Children’s Hospital’s Chief Innovation Officer, is leaving the hospital to become Vice President of Medical Information, Innovation, and External Partnerships at Biogen Idec, MobiHealthNews has learned.

"I have loved working at Boston Children’s, which is one of the finest organizations in the world," she wrote in an email. "I feel grateful to all of the people at Boston Children’s who supported me and the work of my Innovation Acceleration Program over the past 4.5 years. One of the best parts of my job was working with the immensely talented and dedicated doctors and nurses who are continuously innovating and striving to improve care delivery. I have loved being a part of their amazing work and feel privileged to have been able to support their efforts."

Fried's work with Biogen will be similar to her work at Boston Children's, leading new innovation efforts for the pharma giant. She'll have a particular focus on certain diseases. 

"In my role there I will be managing a variety of existing capabilities as well as building a new innovation program for them," she wrote. "I look forward to doing my part to help the Multiple Sclerosis and Hemophilia patients around the world whom Biogen serves, including finding new ways to connect Biogen to both patients and physicians. Biogen is a great firm, and I’ve found the energy and excitement in their culture to be infectious! I am excited by the opportunity to stretch myself by tackling a different set of responsibilities in a different organization in a different industry."

Fried was the first to serve in the role of Chief Innovation Officer at Boston Children’s and premiered a number of programs that have made the hospital well known as a trail blazer for leveraging health technology. The Innovation Acceleration Program she began in 2010 led to multiple other ventures including the FastTrack Innovation in Technology (FIT) Award, the Innovestment Grant, and, just recently “Innovation Tank”, a Shark Tank style event.

Over Fried's four-year tenure, numerous innovations have emerged from those programs. Two programs that made it beyond the pilot stage are: ALICE, a smart whiteboard that can print a copy of the caregiver assignment sheet, perform a historical lookup of patient caregiver assignments and pull information from the board to help doctors find their patients; and DisCo, a discharge communication service that sends messages to patients after they’ve visited the hospital, and sends the information back to a nurse who sees a dashboard and can selectively figure out which patients to follow up with by phone.

In addition, she oversaw the launch and pilot phase of MyPassport, a patient-facing iPad app that gives patients and their parents access to test results, care plans, and the names and pictures of everyone on the child's care team.

“Innovation is fundamentally a risky process,” Fried said at an event earlier this week. “A lot of what you do doesn’t work out. Failure is a common part of the innovation process. So creating an environment where risk is welcome, failure is acceptable — where failure is really seen as a learning opportunity — [that] opens up the environment, opens up the culture, makes people feel comfortable to innovate.”