Control Health Data, Don't Drown in It

Jun 6, 2013, 7:26 PM, Posted by

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey

Data: It's a flood, and we run the danger of drowning in it. Even more unsettling, says RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, "a good portion of that flood of information is about our health, yet we have few tools to control or even decipher this most personal of data."

Writing in her latest post on the professional social networking site LinkedIn, Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey suggests that all of that data should be helping us—we just need to get a handle on it.

RWJF has focused on just that goal, having funded development of tools and technologies to manage medical information since the mid-2000s, Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey writes. Our latest initiative is a $120,000 contest to encourage technology developers to create the best way to help consumers make sense of a huge database of hospital prices published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey concludes:

I believe such information management projects can be as or more transformative for an individual’s well-being than a new drug or surgical technique. Hopefully, their advent means we are entering an era of high tech tools where big data, far from drowning us, will help us manage our health in ways we never could before."

Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey is one of about 300 LinkedIn Influencers.