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.

David Harlow
The Harlow Group LLC
Health Care Law and Consulting