Lyme Innovation

The Lyme Innovation initiative aims to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of tick-borne diseases through the development of next-gen technologies, interdisciplinary collaborations, and data-driven innovations for tick-borne

Accelerating innovation in tick-borne disease prevention, diagnostics, and patient outcomes via next-gen technologies and data-driven, interdisciplinary collaborations


The HHS Lyme Innovation initiative is a patient-centered, data-driven approach to the serious threat of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Lyme disease affects more than 300,000 people in the U.S. each year, and that number is growing. So is the geographic spread of the disease, which accounts for more than 70% of all vector-borne illnesses in our country. Lyme and other tick-borne conditions cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars annually.


HHS's Lyme Innovation initiative sees patients as more than the targets for new prevention, diagnostic, and treatment tools and techniques to address Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Patients are the driving forces of innovation, and their lived experience is our roadmap.

Lyme Innovation uses strategic public-private partnerships to accelerate patient-centered advancements in how we address Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. By supporting interdisciplinary collaborations that reflect the initiative's core values, Lyme Innovation will:

  • Build commitment to data-driven, patient-centered innovations that improve outcomes.
  • Identify ways to better collect and share data while raising awareness of tick-borne illnesses.
  • Accelerate discovery of next-gen diagnostic tools and technologies.
  • Lower barriers across all phases of development, testing, and implementation.

Core Values

  • RESPECT: Everyone is valued.
  • INNOVATION: Shifting paradigms. Finding a better way.
  • HONESTY/INTEGRITY: Find the truth. Tell the truth.
  • EXCELLENCE: Quality, real-world evidence underlies decision-making.
  • COMPASSION: Finding solutions to relieve suffering.
  • COLLABORATION: Citizens and patients are equal partners.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY: The buck stops here.

Our Approach

  • Create a sense of urgency.
  • Attract new leaders to the field.
  • Leverage resources from all sectors.
  • Attract and unlock external funding and private capital.
  • Increase collaboration and stakeholder engagement.
  • Improve the customer experience.
  • De-risk and expedite commercialization.


Engage Stakeholders to Facilitate Patient-Centered Innovations

  • Build trust among stakeholders through listening sessions, roundtables, and other learning approaches that ground innovations in lived experience
  • Engage stakeholders in identifying current areas of need to promote targeted innovations that will make real-world improvements in quality of care
  • Gain insights into patient needs and priorities through stakeholders' collective wisdom, and apply that wisdom in shaping future innovation challenges and events

Advance Education and Awareness

  • Crowdsource innovative ideas for raising awareness about risks and prevention
  • Amplify and improve access to essential information supporting innovations in prevention, education, and care with open data/science
  • Foster the development of new, community-based education and prevention efforts through prize challenges and calls to action

Foster Breakthroughs in Next-Gen Diagnostics

  • Promote innovation through a series of prize challenges that encourage application of cutting-edge technology and user-centered design to advance diagnostic tests and tools
  • Increase accuracy of diagnostics at all stages of Lyme disease by accelerating delivery of actionable information to healthcare providers, entrepreneurs, and patients
  • Incentivize and reduce risk for development to get new, more accurate diagnostics from lab to market

Ways to Get Involved

Join us in driving the Lyme Innovation initiative forward! Check back soon to find out how.

Blog Posts and Ways to Learn More

For up-to-date information, statistics, and guidance on Lyme disease and related illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Lyme Disease website. You can also check out these HHS blog posts and materials:

Lyme Innovation: Real-World Impact

Lyme Innovation developments that are already making an impact on tick-borne illnesses


Public-private partnership between HHS and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to accelerate innovation in prevention efforts, diagnostics, and treatments for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases

Tick-Borne Diseases Working Group

Working Group that reviews federal tick-borne disease efforts and research priorities, including Lyme Innovation, while ensuring interagency coordination


Public-private partnership between HHS and the American Society of Nephrology to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases
Content created by Office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Content last reviewed on September 30, 2020