Health 2.0 DC: Patient Power thru data liberación

By MHN Staff
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By Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

ScanAvert screenshotThe Health 2.0 Conference convened its first meeting in Washington, DC, today, with public sector health leaders and private sector innovators coming together in a Great Big Kumbayah. This conference featured two prominent and key players absent from previous Health 2.0 Conferences: patients on every panel, and the Federal government punctuating the start, the middle, and the end of the day’s agenda.

The over-arching message: Data Liberación! says Todd Park, the DHHS Technology Officer. This follows last week’s launch by DHHS of the Community Health Data Initiative (which Park wants to rename with your help here). [More about the CHDI here from Health Populi] The point of freeing the data, which has been virtually locked in Federal and State government silos, is for people, providers and researchers to mash-it-up, learn, and apply to improve health outcomes. In this regard, Linda Harris, lead of the Health Communication and eHealth Team at the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in DHHS, pointed to the Healthy People 2020 goals. When data liquidity comes to health care, all Americans have the prospect of better health status in 2020 than we do have in 2010.

Will Yu, innovations guru in the Office of the National Center for Health IT (ONCHIT, SHARP team) kicked off the day with an inspiring mantra on the need for innovation in health. This was followed by a number of innovative application demos, always a key feature at Health 2.0 conferences. Among them, I’m especially intrigued by ScanAvert which helps users “Shop Healthier, Be Healthier” with a mobile scan technology linking barcodes to food safety recall data and ingredient substitute information for dietary restrictions and allergies. This mobile application fits into the new health paradigm of participatory health for engaged people who want to make smart microdecisions throughout the day — recognizing that health is a 24×7 pursuit, largely happening outside of the doctor’s office and health system.

Read more from Jane's post over at Health Populi