Health Datapalooza turns corner with new leadership, focus

The Health Data Consortium has passed along the hosting duties of next year's Health Datapalooza to nonprofit AcademyHealth​.

The Health Data Consortium has passed along the hosting duties of next year’s Health Datapalooza to nonprofit AcademyHealth.

The consortium, a public-private partnership promoting health data and information sharing best practices, led the Health Datapalooza for the past six years, promoting health data liberation and accessibility — in large part through federal initiatives and policies. As the health data movement shifts its focus to helping the public act on the progress made, AcademyHealth is better suited to lead the event, HDC Board Chair James Bradley said in a statement.

“Recognizing our successes and the evolution of the health data movement in these new directions, we’ve decided to transition leadership of the DataPalooza to another organization with the expertise necessary deliver the quality event our community expects while increasing its focus on practical applications and the needs of the user community,” Bradley said. “Health DataPalooza will therefore continue under the auspices of AcademyHealth, a founding member of the HDC community and a leader in advancing the use of data and evidence to improve health and health care.”

Indeed, the evolution of the health data movement has reached the next phase “from data liberation to application,” said Susannah Fox, Department of Health and Human Services chief technology officer. “Data should inform decisions for individuals as well as for the entire health care delivery system and that is the direction we are moving toward.”


AcademyHealth also produces its own events, like the Electronic Data Methods Forum, a large event centered on health data and health learning systems. With this expertise and as “a champion for data liberation and a catalyst for its use in decision making and quality improvement,” said AcademyHealth President and CEO Dr. Lisa Simpson, “we’ll build on our work in this area to shape an [datapalooza] agenda that engages the broad community of data liberation champions — patients, advocates, researchers and delivery system and industry leaders — in focused discussions about how we turn data into evidence, and evidence into actions that improve health outcomes.”

Entering its seventh year, the Health Datapalooza has helped spotlight the health data movement and its importance in transforming health care with initiatives like Blue Button and precision medicine. The 2016 datapalooza will be May 8-11 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. Organizers are calling for presentation abstracts until Nov. 30.

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