Nick Sinai, former deputy U.S. CTO and venture partner at Insight Venture Partners, discusses the Blue Button 2.0 conference, and cooperation between the government and tech firms to promote the easy exchange of electronic health records.
Since the Obama Administration, the federal government has been advocating for common healthcare data standards. That effort was given a huge boost last week. During the Blue Button 2.0 meeting at the White House, several companies, including six of the nation’s leading tech firms pledged to develop and promote interoperability within electronic health record systems. Among the signatories are IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Amazon and Salesforce. Nick Sinai, former deputy U.S. CTO and venture partner at Insight Venture Partners, says that this announcement was built on years of bipartisan efforts and industry outreach. “What they did is worked with healthcare industry, they worked with start‑ups and academics and other folks. One was working on open standards, that’s an important thing for the government to do, is participate with industry and have industry lead,” said Sinai. “And then on personal data portability, which is different from the open data world where you are making geospatial or weather data available to everyone. For personal data portability, it is important to get started [in] the sandbox and get going, make the data available and see what kinds of applications will result. Government isn’t always going to have the answer in terms of innovation.”