Chopra’s encouraging declaration led his keynote speech at NJIT’s New Jersey Innovation Institute’s (NJII) 2nd Annual Healthcare Cluster Innovation Showcase, held March 18 in the Campus Center Atrium.
The event was sponsored by NJII’s HealthIT Connections program and the HealthCare Delivery Systems iLab bringing together more than 250 providers, payers, hospital administrators and healthcare entrepreneurs to meet, network, and listen to and learn from key players in the healthcare data technology revolution, including Chopra.
In his keynote, “Connecting the Dots: How Open Data, Connected Apps and Payment Reform Will Accelerate Care Delivery Innovation,” he focused on the need for healthcare organizations to build interoperable, secure infrastructures for organizing and sharing data toward improved population health, as well as how consumers will contribute to this data through a growing number of data-collection apps and other health navigation support services.
These apps and services will support the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Meaningful Use directive by placing the technology “right in the patient’s hand.”
Patients will be able to select from a variety of apps created by their personal healthcare network: their physician, pharmacy, insurance carrier and even the pharmaceutical company manufacturing the medications they take.
“The vision is to engage a more active consumer and harness open patient data for population health,” said Chopra.
His points were welcome news for the many health-technology entrepreneurs in attendance, some of whom participated in the conference’s business expo, also held in the Atrium. Chopra emphasized the major role played by entrepreneurs in helping to not only facilitate and further data collection and analysis, but also cut costs from today’s healthcare system.
NJII’s HealthIT Connections serves as a valuable resource for health entrepreneurs. Funded by a grant from JPMorgan Chase and Co.’s Small Business Forward initiative, HealthIT Connections links health IT innovators with healthcare executives, providers and consumers in the greater Newark region. Now in its second year, the program already has increased average revenue and job growth in the healthcare entrepreneurial space.
“Our program has been working closely with a broad range of industries and providers across the healthcare continuum in cluster innovation. A cluster is a group of anchor institutions, service providers and entrepreneurs that drives economic development,” explained Judith Sheft, associate vice president of technology & enterprise development at NJII. “Entrepreneurs participating in HealthITConnections have grown and developed faster through this strategic structure for innovation.”
“Last year’s showcase saw a lot of entrepreneurs taking all the information they received and leveraging it to help move data through IT, make providers compliant with federal and state regulations, and reduce costs,” added Tom Gregorio, Senior Executive Director of NJII’s Healthcare Delivery System iLab. “We hope for the same result from this year’s showcase. It’s our job as software developers and subject-matter experts to connect the dots.”
Following opening remarks from NJII CEO and President Donald Sebastian, Gregorio and Sheft, and Chopra’s well-received address, the conference featured a discussion with Andrew Pecora, M.D., chief innovations officer; professor and vice president of Cancer Services at Hackensack University Medical Center; Timothy A. Pletcher, D.H.A., executive director of Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services; and Linda Schwimmer, president and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. Also on the agenda was a panel discussion with Carol DerSarkissian, M.D., director of Quality Assurance at the Manhattan VA Emergency Department; Peter Tippett, M.D., Ph.D., co-chairman, DataMotion Health; and Vishnu Saxena, Advisory Board member, NJII HealthIT Connections.
“We’re at the intersection of three fundamental, inexorable trends: liberation of data, payment reform and the health Internet, which will determine how we’ll ‘stitch’ together all the patient data,” Chopra concluded. “This is why we’re in such a golden era of healthcare with wide-open possibilities.”
The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) is an NJIT corporation that applies the intellectual and technological resources of the state’s science and technology university to challenges identified by industry partners. Through its Innovation Labs (iLabs), NJII brings NJIT expertise to key economic sectors, including healthcare delivery systems, bio-pharmaceutical production, civil infrastructure, defense and homeland security, and financial services.