Saturday, June 09, 2012

After an amazing week at #HealthData Palooza and HealthCampDC (#HCDC) I decided to apply to be a Presidential Innovation Fellow

A week ago I was arriving at the Kaiser Permanente Center For Total Health to take part in a Code-A-Thon to fight Obesity. Since then the week has been an amazing whirlwind. It has been wonderful to meet so many passionate people that want to transform Health Care. 

The week has been non-stop:
  • I worked with a great team to create a simple texting app to persuade people to eat more healthily in fast food restaurants
  • We ran where over 100 people (with half of them never having experienced an un-conference before) creating a tidal wave of health conversations that resulted in 3.1 million Tweet impressions being generated.
  • Regina Holliday's "The Walking Gallery" brought together 250 people to celebrate the power of patient stories in Health Care
  • The Health Data Palooza had over 1600 people and 100 exhibitors demonstrating cutting edge applications that unleash the power of health data
  • NASA held a workshop at the Center for Total Health that demonstrated the powerful link between space exploration and health through the use of mobile technology.   

It is clear we are at a tipping point. Big businesses like SAP and Aetna are now taking this transformation seriously and joining the effort.

I may go by the title of Chief instigator at HealthCamp but a lot of this tidal wave of innovation can be traced back to the uber-instigator, Todd Park. Todd recently was promoted to the role of CTO of the USA - deservedly so! After Aneesh Chopra stepped down Todd was the only logical replacement. He has instigated a tidal wave of innovation built upon the release of lazy data that had for years been lying around languishing in the vaults of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The tide of Innovation in health care is not abating as Todd moves from Health and Human Services to an office at the White House. If anything it has served to accelerate the pace of innovation. Evidence of that is the call for a group of Presidential Innovation Fellows to help oversee a number of innovation sprints. There are 5 programs:

  1. The Open Data initiatives Program
  2. Blue Button for America
  3. MyGov
  4. RFP-EZ
  5. The 20% Campaign

The Blue Button for America Program is a critical health innovation program. It is about to see another essential bout of innovative disruption. After seeing over 900,000 Blue Button downloads since it's release in late 2010 the Blue Button has seen an adoption by major private sector health companies such as Aetna and United Health. It is also accepted by Microsoft Health Vault. 

The next wave of innovation is to take the blue button from being a static snapshot that is downloaded by the patient/citizen and enable a stream to be initiated. This will allow a patient to connect one or more services together and have updates pulled from their health record. 

This evolution has the potential to create a marketplace for analysis applications fueling further health innovation.  When this is coupled with the launch of and the transition of Government Health Data from static snapshots embedded in spreadsheet, text or PDF files to unique addressable data elements via an open source API then we can clearly see that we are at a major inflection point for Health Care innovation.

We will see a move from simple applications that take a single data set and do innovative things with it to a world where we will see Blue Button files enriched with a wide variety of health, environmental, research and other data to empower consumers to take charge of their own health.

The Presidential Innovation Fellows program has been instituted by Todd Park to fuel further innovation. The program is looking for 15 innovators to work in Washington DC for 6 months on these targeted programs. I have been a big proponent of the Blue Button  (Yes - You have probably seen my leather jacket that features the BlueButton - that's me on the left below with Todd Park and Paulo Machado).


Last October I worked with Alan Viars of Videntity to build as a demonstration of how we could use BlueButton data to create a patient driven market place for donated health data.

After such a crazy and exhilarating week, which concluded with connecting Hugo Campos with Todd Park, to help in his quest to gain access to the data generated by the defibrillator embedded in his chest (see his TedX presentation here). I was inspired to throw my hat in the ring to be considered for the Fellowship program supporting the Blue Button for America. 

Wish me luck!

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