Dispatches from Datapalooza: Day 1 Highlights

Jun 4, 2013, 10:00 AM, Posted by Christine Nieves

From: Christine Nieves

To: Paul Tarini, Beth Toner and Thomas Goetz

Date: June 4, 2013

Why didn't you warn me that this conference is so enormous? Wow! As a first-time attendee, it is hard to believe that Health Datapalooza started just four years ago with 40 or so participants in one room. On Monday, more than 2,000 people gathered under one roof to advocate for the same cause, and I am enjoying learning from so many of them.

I was struck by the advice from David Jones, Jr., chairman and managing director of Chrysalis Ventures. He explained that, for developers and entrepreneurs, "the current [health care] system is one dictated by third-party payers. You can't build without knowing who is paying for your product." This was a revelation for me. Developers and entrepreneurs are designing for patients, but the patients are not the payers. The consumers in health care services, according to Jones, are the sick, old, and poor, but of course, that's not where the money is.

So, where is the money? And who will pay for the innovative health care products being developed?

Team members from the Pioneer Portfolio, as well as Entrepreneur in Residence Thomas Goetz, are among the RWJF staff attending this year's Health Datapalooza. Datapalooza is an RWJF-sponsored conference that features new and innovative uses of health data by companies, startups, government agencies and more.

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This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.