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Video Interview: America’s CTO Catalyzes Health Entrepreneurship Through Open Data

No matter how privatized healthcare is in America, at the end of the day it remains a social sustainability issue and a government concern. That’s why America’s newly minted CTO Todd Park is sparking health care innovation and reform through liberation of data from the vaults of NIH, FDA, CMS, USDA, CDC and other government health agencies.  Park believes that de-centralization and data liberation leads to empowerment and innovation.  In this interview at the Healthcare Experience Design Conference in Boston, Park outlines his initiatives to catalyze the ecosystem of health services by unlocking data.

Prior to being appointed the CTO of America to the White House, Park was a successful health IT entrepreneur who co-founded Athenahealth and Castlight, then served as the CTO at Health and Human Services (HHS). His Health Data Initiative (HDI) is mandating that HHS agency data be publicly accessible in machine readable format using APIs.  Data being liberated include:

  1. Community health data.  Find it at healthindicators.gov, with 1770 metrics on community health performance

  2. Provider directories and quality of care.  Find it at data.medicare.gov

  3. Consumer product information. Including FDA recalls, health insurance for small business.

  4. Medical and scientific knowledge.  Find it at clinicaltrials.gov, Pillbox API, Medline plus connect API

  5. Consumer personal health data. Blue Button initiative, led by department of Veteran Affairs in conjunction with DoD and Medicare is allowing every veteran to download personal health data from a secure website.  The Blue Button has trickled to private sector health providers as well.

This data liberation is catalyzing entrepreneurs to create products and services to help consumers, patients, doctors, nurses, and other health professionals both seek and deliver better care.  The data is also enabling tools that help doctors get a sense of patient population trends, that help journalists identify key report worthy issues such as health disparities and that help officials see food deserts so they can craft better policy.

The third annual Health Datapalooza, on June 5-6 in Washington, DC, will again be showcasing 50 of the best innovations developed by companies using open health data.  Apply to be a speaker by March 30th to compete for a showcase slot.  Find out about open health data and more at HealthData.gov.



Connie Kwan is the CEO of RealMealz.com in Silicon Valley, CA.  She holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School, and covers stories on food and health sustainability. Follow her on Twitter @RealMealz and @conniemkwan.

Connie Kwan

Connie Kwan is a Product Manager and Entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley, CA. She builds teams to deliver products that benefit people, planet and profit. She holds an MBA in Sustainability at Presidio Graduate School and blogs about sustainability and business at Sustainable Thinking: Applied (http://blog.conniekwan.com)

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