Council News

March 26, 2014

Health and Human Services CTO highlights data’s potential in Nashville

Health and Human Services CTO highlights data’s potential in Nashville
by Nashville Health Care Council | Mar 26, 2014

Eleanor Kennedy | Nashville Business Journal

As the health care industry undergoes some of the most dramatic change in its history, data and innovation are key to its future.

That’s the message U.S. Department of Health and Human Services CTO and Entrepreneur-in-Residence delivered Wednesday morning at a briefing. Sivak, who has several entrepreneurial ventures on his resume, briefed the attendees on HHS’ IDEA Lab, a project that stands for Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship and Action.

Sivak focused on the project’s Health Data Initiative, one of six pathways within the lab that focuses on using open data to transform the health care industry.

Sivak told stories about entrepreneurs who drew on personal experience to launch data-focused companies that “disrupted” existing health care practices, even though they themselves had no health care experience.

That’s the sort of innovation that’s needed to shrink growing costs in the industry and provide better outcomes, Sivak said.

“We need disruption,” he said.

To that end, the Health Data Initiative is working to make more data publicly available, disseminate that data to the people who most need or can most use it, and continually educate players in the industry and consumers about the potential for change driven by data.

Sivak called on Nashville’s health community to aid those efforts in a number of ways, such as participating in an upcoming physician code-a-thon, joining the HHS IDEA Lab team, sharing data (there was a large question mark over Tennessee on Sivak’s map of state’s shared health data), helping the government find valuable data sets, sharing stories of what’s worked here in Nashville, or attending the upcoming  Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C., this June.

“We’re sitting her on a moment of massive change,” Sivak said, highlighting many of the industry’s recent regulatory and technological shifts.

But although Sivak has extensive experience on the tech side of the things, he opened the program by saying he prefers his entrepreneur-in-residence title to CTO because while technology is a valuable tool, real solutions to problems are often culture-based.

In health care, Sivak said near the end of his talk, “The culture is starting to change.”

Eleanor Kennedy covers Nashville’s health care and technology industries.

Back to News

Purpose Statement

We exist to strengthen and elevate Nashville as the Healthcare City.

View Purpose