The Health Datapalooza, which began in 2010 as the Community Health Data Initiative, convenes today and continues through tomorrow in Washington, DC. An estimated 1,200 people are expected to attend the conference, which opened this morning at the Washington Convention Center with a keynote address by Todd Park, the Athenahealth co-founder who three months ago succeeded Aneesh Chopra as U.S. Chief Technology Officer.
The conference has been gaining attention from companies focused on health IT, chiefly because of the massive amount of data being released through the health data initiative, according to Bill Davenhall, director of global healthcare solutions for Esri, the Redlands, CA, developer of geospatial software and services.
“You can’t have innovation without rocket fuel, and data is the rocket fuel,” Davenhall says. “It’s a powerful economic development thing that has drawn heavy involvement from the VC community.”
I talked by phone yesterday with Davenhall while he was in Phoenix, AZ, awaiting his flight to Washington, DC. He helped organize a breakout session set for this afternoon on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a resource in public health. He says the discussion is intended to highlight the potential for using GIS in health-related work and to demonstrate a variety of apps that can be used to improve community health, personal medicine, and healthcare services.
In a memorable presentation at San Diego’s inaugural TEDMED in 2009, Davenhall made a case for including a patient’s environmental “place history” as part of the medical history.
Since then, Esri has coined the … Next Page »