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When Stars Align

I went to a panel called “How Open Health Data Can Improve America’s Health” – presented by Todd Park. I was one of a few advertising people in a room full of healthcare and public policy experts. My fears were further confirmed when a very government-looking PowerPoint presentation popped up on screen.

Then Todd started talking. He’s the Chief Technology Officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Todd was electrifying. Todd has crazy energy. Todd held the room captive. Todd referred to a coworker as a ninja prince. Todd and his team of ninja princes and princesses were able to take publicly-available and publicly-funded information and make it available in the same way that NOAA provides incredible amounts of weather data to power things we take for granted like weather.com.

Todd said a lot of interesting things and is making incredible advances for both government and private business in the world of health and healthcare. But what really floored me was that Todd was the right man for the job at the right time. He is super pumped about the government and health and the country. He is a public servant who is so jazzed that he could be mistaken for an over-caffeinated super genius madman. I don’t remember the last time I saw a public official with this much energy and passion. Certainly not at the DMV…

When you get the right person in the right place at the right time, the results can be amazing.

That’s the point of what I have to say, but if you’re curious about the actual presentation topic, here’s a link to a new site where you can issue a challenge to developers to create new health-related apps:

http://health2challenge.org/

Here’s the available government health data – all in one place:

http://www.data.gov/health

And here is the presentation hashtag (slideshow to be posted by Todd later):

#sxswod

 

 

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