Health 2.0 'Key Pillar' of Health Care Innovation, U.S. Chief Technology Officer says

CTO discusses how health 2.0 aligns with the Obama administration's larger health reform goals and the federal stimulus package

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra in an interview given to the media after the the keynote speech at Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco, discussed how health 2.0 aligns with the Obama administration's larger health reform goals, the federal stimulus package, the administration's open government initiative and shareable intellectual property.

When he was asked how does health 2.0 align with the Obama administration's larger health reform goals,  Mr. Chopra said that \" Health 2.0 is a key pillar of where we believe innovation will take place in the nation's health care system. \"As we look to shape the market conditions -- the incentives to reward wellness and prevention -- I have great confidence that the health 2.0 community will rise up to the challenge and engineer game-changing ideas to deliver the results our policymakers in Washington are keen to deliver. he said.

When Mr. Chopra was asked his opinion about health care providers who are reluctant to embrace these health 2.0 technologies, he said that he understand that fact and can sympathize with their lot in the current environment that does not reward them for the adoption of these capabilities, but he hopes that as we proceed with health reform that the stakeholders -- mainly the hospitals and physician groups -- will be very active participants in delivering health 2.0 only because it's in the best interest of the patient.

Coming to the stimulus package, he was asked whether he think that the Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments will be enough to persuade doctors to transition to electronic health records, and he replied that the government believes so.  it's a 50-50 proposition for physicians who may or may not see the value in the adoption of current technology. But as they proceed in the definition of \"meaningful use,\" focus on health outcomes improvements and inspire the market to build better apps to achieve health outcomes improvements, they are confident physicians might participate without a great deal of long-term incentive payments because it will be a part of health reform and the way we practice medicine in the future, he said.

The following are the additional information which he gave.

Q: How does the Obama administration's open government initiative align with its health IT goals? Will you push for more collaboration in health IT ?

Chopra: Oh, absolutely. It's hand in glove. The open government initiative has three basic pillars. One is transparency. To the extent that there's information that we have that if made more accessible could enable health outcomes improvement, we're all over it. Two, it involves participatory democracy to the extent that we are making rules and regulations, not just on health IT payments, but on general conditions. If FDA were to regulate medical devices that impact some of the tools that are enabled through health 2.0, we want to be open and transparent and engage the American people so their voice is heard in Washington without the need to hire a lobbyist or have an otherwise official presence in D.C. So, on participatory democracy, we see great potential.

And, third, we are very bullish on the pillar of collaboration. That is to say, we understand for us to deliver the kind of game-changing improvements in the nation's health care system, there may be a role for the federal government, but it will largely be born out of private and not-for-profit sectors. So collaboration is critical. And, again, we hope to demonstrate that not just in words but in deeds in the coming weeks and months.

Q:What kind of role do you see open-source software having in the future of health IT?

Chopra: I think there is a role for a number of technologies, but I am not in favor of open source at the expense of proprietary tools. I actually believe more fundamentally in the principle of shareable intellectual property.

The story that I use is that I am more than happy to buy Microsoft Excel. If I choose to build an app that helps me calculate what mortgage I can afford, [and then] I choose to share that with my neighbor without having to have my neighbor reinvent the wheel, we've created value through the sharing of intellectual property enabled by a system that is at its core a strong and vibrant proprietary platform.

Source: iHealthBeat


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