RWJF Launches Big Data Initiative To Improve Community Health

October 17, 2014 in News

On Thursday, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced that it has launched a big data initiative that aims to help individuals live healthier lives, MedCity News reports.

Details of Initiative

Michael Painter, senior program officer at RWJF, said the Data for Health initiative aims to establish a nationwide “culture of health” that is conducive to “timely, ready access to information that people need to make informed health decisions” (Verel, MedCity News, 10/16).

The initiative is led by an advisory committee co-chaired by:

  • David Ross, director of the Public Health Informatics Institute; and
  • Ivor Horn, medical director of Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Center for Diversity and Health Equity (Comstock, MobiHealthNews, 10/16).

Health IT experts, physicians and public health practitioners will make up a panel of advisers for the initiative (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 10/16).

The initiative will begin with “Learning What Works” events in five cities during which the committee will hear from local residents and health care professionals on:

  • Collecting data;
  • Data sharing; and
  • Using data to improve community health (MobiHealthNews, 10/16).

Officials from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT will participate in each of the discussions.

By early 2015, the advisory committee will issue recommendations based on insights from the events (MedCity News, 10/16).

RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey said, “The Data for Health initiative will be a starting point for identifying what infrastructure is needed to turn this information into an effective tool for improving health nationwide” (FierceHealthIT, 10/16).

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