5 Takeaways from Datapalooza 2023

5 Key Takaways from Datapalooza
Now that the transparency data is available, the Federal IDR Process should be revised to incorporate this data, creating a more equitable process and enabling the certified IDR entities to make more informed payment determinations.

As the healthcare industry rapidly evolves, Datapalooza 2023 provided an opportunity to keep up with healthcare data trends (and to meet the people driving systematic change). From discovering new developments in FHIR data sharing and the development of ARPA-H for moonshot projects to exploring the challenges of price transparency data and the use of AI, it was a worthwhile event. Here are five key takeaways from the conference:

1. Meaningful Exchange of Patient Information is Becoming Mainstream

A group of sessions and represented participants shared experiences and successes implementing FHIR and patient data exchange, as well as discussed policy (see TEFCA) and new tools (e.g., Lantern) available to enable secure and effective sharing of patient data.  We’re thinking a lot about how this new flow of data lands and is used in aggregate within healthcare organizations.

2. There’s a New-ish Well-Funded Agency Called ARPA-H for Moonshot Health Projects

The NIH agency follows the DARPA model to bring innovation more quickly to healthcare, without the typical government red tape and with market salaries for directors.  

ARPA-H advances high-potential, high-impact biomedical and health research that cannot be readily accomplished through traditional research or commercial activity. ARPA-H awardees are developing entirely new ways to tackle the hardest challenges in health. – ARPA-H Website

Check it out if you’re a healthcare leader looking for an impactful leadership role. We’re following!

3. Price Transparency is on a lot of Minds, But Vexing Many Organizations

Since Datapalooza is a healthcare data conference, new shiny datasets are on everyone’s mind, including the new health plan price transparency data.  Speakers shared the challenges in processing and analyzing massive amounts of data but are excited about the potential uses and innovations for consumers and healthcare organizations. We can relate (see our price transparency solutions).

4. Generative AI is an Unsurprisingly Hot Topic – But with a Lens Towards Bias and Responsibility

ChatGPT has caused waves in healthcare as it has in other industries; it looks like there were late-state changes to the agenda and speaker topics to address the role of generative AI.  

The takeaway, similar to ongoing industry discussions about the responsible use of AI in healthcare, is that it has the potential to be incredibly powerful but also incredibly biased and wrong.  Speakers presented the myriad of use cases for generative AI and also talked about the importance of understanding bias and working to reduce bias systematically

5. Datapalooza is a Great Mix of Health Policymakers, Patients, and Industry Builders

This was our first time at Datapalooza. We were pleased to discover that it is well-attended by public sector leaders and data practitioners working in various healthcare industry segments.  We heard from thoughtful leaders from HHS and the ONC and had the chance to talk to AHRQ and representatives from healthdata.gov.  (Side note – we heard several times that CMS really needs staff and has many open roles).  

There was also a solid mix of healthcare data companies and entrepreneurs who are building innovative products and solutions, and we were lucky to meet some of them in the “pitch tent.”  Academy Health also has a unique focus on patient representation and ensures the patient voice is part of the agenda.  We will definitely attend Datapalooza again and hope to see you there next time!


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