Archive for: June 2013

Video: Larry Smarr on the Health Data Exploration Project

Jun 10, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Lori Melichar, Steve Downs

As we set forth on the Health Data Exploration project, we're being guided by a wonderful set of advisors. Here's a quick video post from one of them, Larry Smarr, the director of Calit2.  Larry's a pioneer who's exploring the frontiers of quantified self, as you can see from the extraordinary talk he gave at TEDMED earlier this year.

Dispatches from Datapalooza: Conversation After Conversation

Jun 7, 2013, 3:29 PM, Posted by Paul Tarini

Pioneer Senior Program Officer Paul Tarini at Datapalooza Pioneer Senior Program Officer Paul Tarini at Health Datapalooza IV. Photo by Saad Zafar.

From: Paul Tarini

To: Christine Nieves, Beth Toner and Thomas Goetz

Date: June 7, 2013

Thomas, I agree with your description that Health Datapalooza is the place to be. For me, this year's conference was a great experience and offered a really rich environment for networking. At RWJF's booth and throughout the conference, I had conversation after conversation with a range of people who are interested in liberating data and using liberated data. I talked with researchers, entrepreneurs, health care providers, people from state and federal government, and representatives from large corporations. It was really quite impressive.

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Name Our Podcast

Jun 6, 2013, 2:00 PM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

We need your help. We’re launching a podcast next month and we need a name for it.

The purpose of the podcast is to provide listeners with insight about the types of ideas in which the Pioneer team wants to invest. (It’s the same reason we write posts on this blog.) Christine Nieves Rodriguez—Pioneer’s program associate—will be the host (she has the best radio voice of all of us) and segments will include conversations with program officers, grantees and friends, as well as news about grants and events.

So, this is what we came up with:

  • Pioneering Ideas (yes, we realize this is also the name of the blog)
  • Pioneering Voices (meh)

Please help us. What would you name a podcast about seeking out new ideas for health and health care innovation? We need to make a decision by June 21, so hurry up and leave your suggestion in the comments below. Thanks!

Big Data Backlash

Jun 5, 2013, 4:01 PM, Posted by Brian C. Quinn

Brian Quinn Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation

The big data hype cycle is playing out in predictable ways. Perhaps it’s inevitable that, after all the talk about how big data is going to save the world, we’re starting to see a similar rash of stories about how the promise of big data has been oversold. Microsoft Research’s Kate Crawford has been particularly outspoken as of late, with Quentin Hardy recounting her “six myths of big data” in The New York Times last weekend and Kate’s own Foreign Policy piece in May, which pointed out that big data put our privacy at risk, in addition to being susceptible to bias, misunderstanding, limitations and discriminatory outcomes.

I’m all for a little healthy skepticism. In fact, Pioneer seeks out those who are asking questions that others are not. But the potential of big data to take on some of health and health care’s most intractable problems is something we’re excited about here at RWJF. Too many Americans are unhealthy, our health care system isn’t working and I’m confident that effective analysis and use of big data has (at the very least a small) role to play in turning things around. I don’t want this backlash to stifle explorations into what that role could be.

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Good for Kaiser. Good for America.

Jun 4, 2013, 3:00 PM, Posted by Mike Painter

Mike Painter Mike Painter, senior program officer

Earlier this year, Fast Company released its list of the 50 most innovative companies and named Nike No. 1. In that article, Nike CEO Mark Parker noted, “One of my fears is being this big, slow, constipated, bureaucratic company that's happy with its success…. Companies fall apart when their model is so successful that it stifles thinking that challenges it.” Kaiser Permanente did not make the Fast Company list—this year.  But this nation-leading health care provider is working hard to ensure it’s not a big plugged-up company satisfied with its past success. KP works hard at innovating. KP's leaders and staff clearly do not take their past success and excellence for granted.

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