Health Innovation: Leveraging Technology to Advance the President’s Management Agenda

Health Innovation: Leveraging Technology to Advance the President’s Management Agenda…

March 02, 2022

Health Innovation: Leveraging Technology to Advance the President’s Management Agenda

AFCEA Bethesda hosted the HHS Panel in early February as part of its annual Health IT event. Industry leaders gathered to discuss ‘How HHS Envisions Leveraging Technology in Advancing the President’s Management Agenda’.

Enhancing and Securing Federal Technology

Data and technology modernization delivers strategic value and interconnection, said Ram Iyer, Chief Data Officer, FDA. When gathering demographic information, what happens at the intersection of data and mission is critical. The continuing modernization of IT has made it imperative to secure that’s being shared on an unprecedented scale.

Reducing Health Inequities

Don Burgesss, Deputy Chief Information Officer at HHS, raised the issue data-gathering challenges, noting that certain groups are disinclined to share data. That reluctance demands innovative ways to gain needed data. Meeting the challenge requires leadership and operational insights into health environments. The missing critical piece to understanding the needs of people being served lies in the elements of data related to social determinants, said Antigone Dempsey, Director, Division of Policy and Data, HRSA. The goal is to fill these gaps, and streaming data can make a huge difference. Shannon Jackson, Executive Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, addressed how the EO is trying to get at diversity – and how targeting minority groups and institutions to help grow our industrial base would address this EO.

Challenges with COVID

Some pandemic shifts happened organically, said Iyer, noting that the crisis created opportunity. Talent is elastic, he said, and we should learn to leverage available resources. We do not have to take on everything ourselves. Looking ahead, the panel questioned how to maintain the momentum that comes out of these types of situations.

Data Modernization

Burgess revisited the topic of reluctance to share data. With some organizations still using outdated methods of data collection, panelists called for a national consensus to solve the problem. The need for a data literacy program was discussed. Data owners and data users are far apart, a gap that needs to close this gap, Burgess said, noting that instant gratification isn’t realistic. Iyer said he hopes a cohesive strategy will come out of his data modernization plan, including projects allowing for the collection and curation of quality data. The democratization of IT was discussed, which allows small and minority companies to be on a level playing field. The biggest goal surrounding data modernization is for data to be more fluid, while still maintaining security.

Emerging Innovations

A shrinking decreasing industrial base and the need for growth, especially in the IT arena, concerned Jackson. Cybersecurity and data protection should be baked into contracts. In the area of emerging technology, lead with guidance, not governance, Iyer said.


Thought Leadership