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5 Things That Caught My Attention at the Health Data Initiative Forum

By June 10, 2011 One Comment

Distinguished Panel on stage at Health Data Initiative Forum 2011Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend the 2011 Health Data Initiative Forum at the National Institutes of Health’s Natcher Conference Center. In case you weren’t able to make it, the hashtag was #healthapps, and here are 5 things that caught my attention at this year’s forum:

Ozioma – Ozioma is a site, currently finishing up testing, that allows health reporters to look up local health statistics and put them together in an online workspace to generate stories. I really liked the idea of a single place to pull together local health data. The big deal here in my mind is the virtual workspace that Ozioma provides. The service allows you to drag things into your online “notebook” and actually construct the story with the click of a few buttons.

CountyHealthRankings.org – Along the same lines as Ozioma, in the afternoon I sat in on the Information Needs of Communities and Counties and was amazed at the resource that allows people to quickly identify health indicators by county. In the session public health professionals discussed the tools that exist, while also talking about the challenges they are faced with today. The sentiment seemed to be that data is great but the data needs to be formatted in a way so that it is actionable. This need will lead to more and better visualizations, in my opinion, and that excites me.

ElizaLIVE – In short, ElizaLIVE uses technology to engage people in conversations about their health. I was intrigued by ElizaLive because the service then places patients into groups, based on survey responses, so that payers can tailor specific intervention programs to increase response rates. The technology looked great and the team was super cool, as I approached them at their exhibit table in the afternoon to get my head around the service.

Asthmapolis – I learned about Asthmapolis last year around this time, and their big announcement this year was that they have successfully demonstrated positive change in health outcomes and will be scaling the service to an entire county in North Carolina. If you haven’t heard of Asthmapolis, it is a  device that can be affixed to an inhaler so that GPS data is pushed to a central server and mapped in realtime.

PatientsLikeMe – PatientsLikeMe is now able to connect their large self reporting patient population to clinical trials around the world. This means that if you have been diagnosed with a particular condition, and are a member of the PatientsLikeMe community, you can now easily find clinical trials that relate to your condition in close proximity to you. The presentation was great, and PatientsLikeMe ended up winning best in show for this new capability.

Final Thoughts

The Government is doing everything they can to help ignite a groundswell of innovation in the health sector and I am a big fan. What I think is needed at future events is more disclosure on numbers as well as the “Behind the Music” stories of how things are being built, what’s going wrong and what’s going right. We’re all acquiring scars from our trailblazing efforts in this new territory, and more transparency in that regard helps everyone out. PatientsLikeMe did exactly this, by relaying the story behind how their new clinical trials capability was conceptualized, how it works, and what it has done to date. I personally think this presentation tactic had a lot to do with why they won best in show, and am hopeful that more health innovators will follow suit.

We’re all in this together, and I’m personally looking forward to next year’s forum. Special thanks to Aman Bhandari for his work putting it all together and for allowing me to be a part of it.

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