Developers have expanded access to government health IT data through a dashboard released Wednesday -- a move which opens up possibilities for the creation of new applications and tools in the health IT sector. The Heath IT Dashboard allows the public to track and analyze data from the Office for the National Coordinator for Health IT. The information is beneficial to the startup ecosystem, expanding a valuable toolkit for the development of products using data.
Open government data can fuel products that empower citizens and grow businesses. At a May 7 Code for America event in San Francisco, Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation and Tom Steinberg of MySociety demonstrated tools built on government data that give everyday individuals valuable information on government services and a voice in their communities. These web-based tools demonstrate the potential market for developers to both build businesses and add value to local, state and national governments.
There are plans to expand the dashboard in June. More data are to be added on electronic health records and other health care technologies implemented by the federal government. Technology may play a critical and non-partisan role in making care more affordable, accessible, and straightforward for patients in the United States.
In addition, the expansion of wired and wireless broadband to remote communities may open the door to telemedicine for rural Americans. Mobile medical applications and innovative medical devices offer the opportunity for startups to make a move into the health care market as well. Open government data is one step to opening up data-driven innovation across government and industry, with health care representing just one field for growth.