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DC Health Data and Innovation Week 2012

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I spent part of last week at the DC Health Data and Innovation Week.  I attended HealthCamp DC, The Walking Gallery, the Health Datapalooza and part of the Privacy Summit.  I’ve already shared snapshots of HealthCamp and The Walking Gallery — but for more, see yesterday’s Washington Post article on the Walking Gallery.

I spent part of last week at the DC Health Data and Innovation Week.  I attended HealthCamp DC, The Walking Gallery, the Health Datapalooza and part of the Privacy Summit.  I’ve already shared snapshots of HealthCamp and The Walking Gallery — but for more, see yesterday’s Washington Post article on the Walking Gallery.  Also, please check out Dave Chase’s account of the White House roundtable on patient access to health data. The Health Dataplooza was kicked off by US CTO Todd Park, whose opening keynote to a crowd of 1200 in person, and many more at the other end of the livestream, concluded with a rousing: “God bless the United States of America! God bless you! May the Force be with you! Rock on!”  The re-imagined HealthData.gov website provides easy access to health data — that’s what it’s all about, now, isn’t it? — and information on health data challenges.  Speaking of challenges, Mike Painter of the RWJF Aligning Forces for Quality initiative presented the AF4Q developer challenge $100,000 prize to SymCat at the Health Datapalooza, and the HealthBlawger caught up with one of the two founders, Craig Monsen, in a random walk through the Health Datapalooza exhibit hall and lobby areas, video camera in hand.  Here’s the HealthBlawg Health Datapalooza vlog, including conversations with Craig and eight other health data entrepreneurs of one sort or another:    

One of the nine is Fred Trotter, who describes his efforts to make a clean version of the NPI database public.  That work was a key underpinning of the new Participatory Medicine Seal program announced at the Health Datapalooza consumer session by The Society of Participatory Medicine‘s Alan Greene. (Disclosure: I am the Society’s public policy chair.) Patients are invited to nominate their physicians for inclusion in this recognition program. Patients may be recognized as well. The session also included presentations and panels moderated by members of the ONC leadership team — Farzad Mostashari and Lygeia Ricciardi — and was punctuated by an exercise break

You can review the tweetstreams of HealthCamp DC #hcdc, The Walking Gallery #thewalkinggallery and the Health Datapalooza #healthdata at your leisure to get a fuller sense of the week.

As usual, it was a pleasure to see — in real life — members of my online community, to see some new faces, and to forge some new relationships as well.  There is always a lot of excitement at events like this, and the challenge — of course — is to harness that excitement, bring it home, bring it back to the workshop, and make sure that good work continues to address the problems of health access, cost and quality.  Data can help us solve these problems, but data, apps, programs and cool data visualizations will not solve these problems by themselves.  There is a flurry of tools out there now — over time, we’ll be able to apprehend more clearly which are going to be truly useful.

I look forward to seeing continued progress.


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DAVID HARLOW is Principal of The Harlow Group LLC, a health care law and consulting firm based in the Hub of the Universe, Boston, MA. His thirty years’ experience in the public and private sectors affords him a unique perspective on legal, policy and business issues facing the health care community. David is adept at assisting clients in developing new paradigms for their business organizations, relationships and processes so as to maximize the realization of organizational goals in a highly regulated environment, in realms ranging from health data privacy and security to digital health strategy to physician-hospital relationships to the avoidance of fraud and abuse. He's been called "an expert on HIPAA and other health-related law issues [who] knows more than virtually anyone on those topics.” (Forbes.com.) His award-winning blog, HealthBlawg, is highly regarded in both the legal and health policy blogging worlds. David is a charter member of the external Advisory Board of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network and has served as the Public Policy Chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine, on the Health Law Section Council of the Massachusetts Bar Association and on the Advisory Board of FierceHealthIT. He speaks regularly before health care and legal industry groups on business, policy and legal matters. You should follow him on Twitter.
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