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The Data Initiative


The Data Initiative along with the Center for Open Data Enterprise convened a Roundtable on Sharing and Utilizing Health Data for AI Applications on April 16, 2019 at HHS. This Roundtable brought together over 70 expert stakeholders from government, industry, clinical research institutions, nonprofit organizations, and academia to discuss opportunities to share and utilize health data for artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare.

The purpose of this Roundtable was to identify high-priority health applications of AI and key issues for an HHS AI strategy to address. Participants discussed high-value health data types, challenges associated with utilizing health data for AI, and strategic considerations that HHS and other stakeholders should consider as they explore AI development in healthcare. This report summarizes the findings of the Roundtable.

About the Initiative

From across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), its many agencies collect a vast array of data to better understand the health of the nation. The Office of the CTO has been a leader in the federal government in enabling the public release of more than 1,500 data sets collected by HHS for use by researchers and entrepreneurs. The Open Data movement continues to be a focus of the Department and the Office of the CTO is committed to making data available for the public to do research, develop applications, and create new products to improve health.

HHS is also examining how it is currently using its own data assets to make more evidence-based policy decisions. Sharing data internally at HHS and across its many different agencies is a priority. The Data Initiative is exploring HHS’ data assets across all agencies and the ways in which data can be shared and connected in responsible ways to improve how HHS delivers on its mission. The Office is interested in identifying models of effective sharing and looking for opportunities to address inefficiencies. The following report highlights the challenges – technical, legal, and cultural – that prevent data from being shared and used across the organization.

This effort is being led by Dr. Mona Siddiqui, the Chief Data Officer at HHS.

What's Next

  • Test the idea. We will identify use cases for data integration and analysis and implement a proof of concept. The objective, beyond testing, will be to demonstrate the business value of data sharing. This will involve creating a technical environment for data analysis and workflow management.
  • Define the functions of what a solution might look like, concurrently with the proof of concept, including technical and non-technical components.

Stay in Touch

We strive to have an open and transparent approach to leveraging HHS data assets to solve critical problems and will continue to keep you updated on our progress. Please share your thoughts, questions, and feedback at @HHSIDEALab or idealab@hhs.gov.

Content created by Office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Content last reviewed on July 8, 2019