Harnessing Digital Innovation to Unlock Cancer Discoveries

Harnessing Digital Innovation to Unlock Cancer Discoveries


What if digital innovations could be the key to reducing the burden of cancer? CancerX was founded in 2023 as part of the Cancer Moonshot to achieve this goal. By uniting leading minds across industries such as technology, healthcare, science, and government, we are breaking down silos and leveraging digital innovation in the fight against cancer. With ambitious goals to cut the death rate from cancer by at least 50% and to improve the experience of people who are affected by cancer, digital innovation is critical.

As a public-private partnership co-hosted by Moffitt Cancer Center and the Digital Medicine Society, CancerX has created a unique ecosystem and community of public and private innovators. We are focused on fostering innovation and collaboration to accelerate the pace of digital tools to help patients across their entire cancer journey. We unite experts across industries and the government, leveraging the success of the Department for Health and Human Services’ InnovationX model; a public-private partnership approach that has driven breakthroughs in kidney care, Lyme disease and COVID-19. In collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), CancerX is in sync with the US government in our common Cancer Moonshot goals to boost government-wide engagement with industry muscle. This type of multidisciplinary partnership is necessary to change the landscape of cancer treatment and care.

At the one year anniversary of CancerX, we look back on a very fast pace in building up our three pillars of work, demonstrating the ways that digital innovation is contributing to fighting cancer:

Pre-Competitive Evidence Generation – A rolling series of multi-stakeholder initiatives to develop evidence, best practices, toolkits, and value models to drive the success of the mission.

Demonstration Projects – These implementation projects pilot novel, mission-aligned approaches to demonstrate their value and sustainability for scale to drive broad adoption.

Startup Accelerator – This program provides mentorship, education, and exposure to funding and clinical partnership opportunities to a start-up cohort aligned with the mission.

And we are already deeply underway with efforts across each of the three pillars.

With our inaugural effort, a pre-competitive evidence generation project, we initially set out to identify and demonstrate how health systems might derive the most value from digital solutions as part of their oncology strategies to support patients facing financial distress or access issues. In November, 2023 we released

A Core Competencies guide for health system use in designing a digital strategy to improve patient access and reduce patient cost

A Financial Navigation guide for support service divisions and nurse navigators to use as a guide for intervening along the patient journey with the use of digital health tools to reduce out-of-pocket cost

A Solutions Catalog showcasing tools available off the shelf to support the implementation of a digital oncology strategy

The final two workstreams currently underway are focused more narrowly on defining and maximizing the benefit of digitally-enabled patient navigation programs for health systems, as well as the patients and care partners they serve. Resources from these workstreams will be released in the summer of 2024.

In our initial demonstration project, the CancerX community sprinted into action to support the collective efforts of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to advance cancer-related data standards.

Specifically, we provided additional support and insights into the ongoing collaboration between the CMMI’s Enhancing Oncology Model (EOM) and the development of ONC’s United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI+) – Oncology extension, which aims to support the establishment of domain-specific data element lists as extensions to the existing USCDI.

The CancerX Startup Accelerator is the first-ever innovation accelerator focused on the intersection of digital innovation and cancer. We have brought together champions, innovators, and expert users of oncology digital technology to help boost the development of these promising startups that

have strong potential to solve unmet needs in cancer care.

Out of more than 100 startups, 16 were competitively selected for this first CancerX Startup Accelerator cohort. These startups are focused on one of five aspects of oncology: clinical research, screening and diagnosis, treatment and management, clinical operations, and patient/survivor/caregiver experience. They include:

The Blue Box

C the Signs

Cancer Insights





Lind AI

Mika Health


Oatmeal Health

Orbit Genomics

Realyze Intelligence

Reimagine Care



By the end of the cohort, these startups will have received in-person and online mentorship from experienced innovators, insights from subject matter experts, connections with potential investors, and networking with other oncology digital technology startups, giving them a jumpstart on bringing their products and services into the lives of those who are fighting cancer.

Doug Mirsky, PhD is Vice President of the Digital Medicine Society. Brian D. Gonzalez MD is the Associate Center Director of the Moffitt Cancer Center.

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