Upcoming "Health Datapalooza" to Promote Innovation

This June, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will host the 3rd Annual Health Data Initiative Forum (or the 2012 Health Datapalooza) at the nation's capital. The event "will feature keynote addresses, a Data & Apps Expo, demonstrations of cutting-edge apps, hands-on data deep dives, and thought-provoking panel discussions,” and will take place on June 5th-6th at the Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C.

The Health Data Consortium, formed during the June 2011 Datapalooza, invites participants to “Learn how to utilize the exploding market of healthcare data innovation” and “connect with startups, developers, and designers.” To this end, there will be sufficient time to network and interact individually with other participants, including “data experts, technology developers, policy makers...health care stakeholders, consumers, and community advocates.”

An eagerly anticipated feature of the event is the Data & Apps Expo—an opportunity for the audience to investigate the newest “cutting-edge” apps currently available: apps designed to incorporate government health data for improving health outcomes, reducing health care costs, and increasing value. “The innovations that best demonstrate benefit and value for health and care improvement will be featured and demoed at the June Datapalooza,” Federal CTO Todd Park explained on the Health Care Blog. He also commented, “It's a phenomenal time to be an innovator at the intersection of data and health care improvement. I'm incredibly excited by the rising tide of innovations we're seeing—new products, services and features being invented by entrepreneurs across the country, fueled by open health data.” 

In a statement on their website, the Health Data Consortium explained the significance of their mission and the unique opportunity afforded by this particular moment in history:

“In recent years, we have seen remarkable progress in efforts to liberate data from government sources, health plans and health care organizations. At the same time and spurred by this data liberation, the development of applications, tools and products has taken off exponentially. The ability to harness data to improve health and to inform decisions is coming alive—we are on the very of significant opportunity to make a real impact on health care.

“The Health Data Consortium [is intended] to encourage the creation of a health data “ecosystem” that promotes and accelerates the innovative use of health data...[Its] objectives are to promote the value of health data to improve health and health care by sponsoring events and activities, facilitating communications among stakeholder communities, and encouraging evangelism centered on health data users to further strengthen the ecosystem.”

The two-day annual event began in 2010, a collaboration between the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The result was the Community Health Data Initiative, intended to “help consumers and communities get more value out of the Nation's wealth of health data.” The purpose of the initiative is threefold: To “(1) raise awareness of community health performance; (2) increase pressure on decision makers to improve performance, and (3) help facilitate and inform action to improve performance.”

At the very first Datapalooza in June of 2010, the assembly attracted leaders from the administration, academia, large businesses, federal agencies, health care organizations, and other communities with an interest in public health care. The public forum—Harnessing the Power of Information to Improve Health—targeted innovators making use of community-level health data. The following year, the annual event became known simply as the Health Data Initiative as its vision expanded past community information to cover data “on coverage, access, cost, quality, products and recalls,” and more.

This year, the 2012 Datapalooza will once again assemble a team of experts to exhibit and explain the newest and most innovative applications in the world of health care data and health. Keynote speakers include Todd Park, former HSS CTO and current Federal CTO; Mark Bertolini (Chairman, CEO and President of Aetna Inc); Senator Bill Frist (nationally-recognized surgeon and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader); and Kathleen Sebelius (Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services).

Author, columnist, and radio host Matt Miller will act as moderator, as will Thomas Goetz, an experienced journalist and Executive Editor of Wired Magazine (A complete list of keynote speakers will be published on the website as details are confirmed). The 2012 agenda will focus on the ONC's recently-launched Consumer e-Health Program, together with the Data & Apps Expo, panel discussions, and breakout sessions.

Below are a list of the major topics that will be explored during the breakout sessions:

  • How to Turn Data into Meaningful Information for Business Problems: Strategy, Practice and Games for Start Ups and Status Quos
  • Value Pathways: Big Data in Healthcare
  • Business Roundtable
  • Health GIS
  • Open Health Data in the United Kingdom
  • Challengeology: Incentives for Value Creation through Uses of Health Data
  • ONC’s Consumer e-Health Data Liberation Initiatives
  • Data Lab
  • Healthdata.gov Now and Next and HD2 Challenges Overview
  • Apps Demos and Action Beats

(Day 2)

  • Improving Community Health Using Local Data
  • Novel Data Sources and Crowdsourcing for Powering Business, Public Good and Health
  • Data-Driven ‘Hotspotting’ for Medical Products and Medications
  • Food and Health Tech: Fueling Innovation with USDA & HHS Data
  • Protecting Privacy and Security in the New Health Data Ecosystem
  • Accountable Care Organizations: Using Data to Deliver Patient Centered Care and Improve Population Health While Lowering Costs
  • Fueling Innovation through the Power of Application Programming Interfaces
  • Apps Demos and Action Beats

Current sponsors for the Health Data Initiative Forum III include:

  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF)
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • The Institute of Medicine (IOM)
  • Esri
  • Healthways
  • The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF)
  • Feinstein Kean Healthcare (FKH)

Interested? The Health Datapalooza 2012 takes place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on June 5-6. For more information, visit the website. Registration is open through May 29th. To view a more detailed description of the agenda, visit this page.