Lessons from Health Datapalooza 2014

Zansors attended Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C. from June 1 - 3.   This blog is not to summarize the event since there are other great sites to do this.  Instead, we want to share our “lessons learned” and other observations. 

First, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) legislation will create new market opportunities for companies to unleash data whether administrative data or clinical data.  Entrepreneurial companies like Zansors need to figure out how sensors, apps, algorithms, etc. can unleash the data as the original “liberation” spirit touted by pioneers like Todd Park (CTO of White House) who with Jonathan Bush (CEO of Athenahealth), and others created the Datapalooza movement.  We must view the ACA as piece of legislation like Telecommunications Act of 1996 that opened new possibilities especially for entreprenurs.  It is very exciting to see how federal agencies like FDA, CMS, NIH and others are unleashing their data so hackers can mash-up the data.  The ACA allows taxpayers to see how well or bad our tax dollars are being spent by different stakeholders.  In other words, ACA provides some transparency with health data. 

Next, the promotion of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) by the public, nonprofit, and private industry will unleash data.  The ACA law helps foster ACO who are building new business models that require quality instead of fee-for-service.  We think that ACO will help unleash data by utilizing more mobile and digital health tools like wearable sensors for sleep, physical activity, EKG, and point of care diagnostics.  ACO allow for more de-centralized care and more “medical homes.”  In this scenario led ACO, data coming from the patient or consumer is more important than data from the old model at the hospital or doctor office.  Get ready for ACO!

While at Health Datapalooza, many panelists talked about engaging consumers.  If the new focus is on engagement, then we think tools that are more mobile-like and digital-like can be ways to unleash data.  Zansors feels that our sensors and apps can work with your mobile phones, tablets, and cable box to give you more useful data that engages you.  After all, Zansors’ tagline is “Know Yourself.”  If Zansors is going to engage you with data, then we will build the best algorithms and data visualizations so you don’t get dumped with pointless data but instead you get the right data to make decisions.  Engagement means that Zansors delivers smart data to “know yourself.”

The final observation from Health Datapalooza is that the focus seemed to be on the collection of data and infrastructure development of data like electronic health records (EHR). This has been going on for a while.  We view these activities as necessary for the general ecosystem but that is not where we play.  However, Zansors focus will be to create data products that the individual user can consume.  We want to give you products where you can “consume” data from your own body and your own body signal (breathing, pulse, blood sugar, etc.).  In other words, “know yourself” by “consuming data with consumer products.  It’s part of the Zansors way to democratize technology.

As a side note, we are so happy and thankful to the organizers of Health Datapalooza because they highlighted the great aspects of Washington, D.C.  The Sunday evening along the river was amazing time over good food and drinks and gave a chance to exchange among great peers.  The venue for Health Datapalooza was in the lovely D.C. neighborhood of Adams Morgan so guests caught a snapshot of D.C. charm.  Some of the networking events Monday evening allowed guests to see U.S. Capitol or Washington Monument with rooftop view.  We look forward to next year’s Health Datapalooza and unleashing more data. 

Know Yourself

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