We need you. Yes, you. Perhaps you’re at a fast-moving tech startup that just had a successful IPO. You’ve had the rush of a great success, and now you’re thinking “What’s the next big thing for me?” You’re wondering what the next challenge that’ll lead you to say, “I can solve that!” Have you thought about putting your skills to work within our federal government and to show what’s possible with technology?
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) needs your knowledge to help people live longer, disease-free lives.
What knowledge exactly does HHS need, you ask? Your experience in building scalable infrastructure for data storage, exchange, and analysis. Health informatics is no longer a niche market; complicated ways of exchanging health care data are being replaced by the same web standards and technologies other industries use. Openness is the new default and we need you to help show us the way. What’s the project? Another great question. This is your opportunity to redirect your skills to help modernize the way our government tracks notifiable diseases, like Ebola, measles, or foodborne outbreaks.
Here’s a quick overview of how this disease surveillance system works: health care providers are required to report the occurrence of over 100 diseases to their state health departments, who in turn send data about these diseases and the circumstances under which they occurred to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The problem? Local, state, and federal public health agencies are currently exchanging data using legacy systems. (Check out the link at the bottom for more info.) That’s where you come in. As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, you will work side-by-side with CDC senior leadership and public health experts to develop a more robust data collection and exchange platform.
Think about it this way: if your mother, child or friend were sick with an infectious disease, you’d want someone with the technical expertise – like yourself – to be part of the team that monitors health threats, uncovers risk factors, and helps determine what treatments work for whom. Now is your chance to be a part of the solution.
So just apply, and share this post with others in your network who might be interested. About a year ago, I was in your shoes deciding whether to apply submit my application to the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Program. I’m glad I did. Every day, in my current role as an EIR, I work with senior leaders at CDC to help modernize our nation’s mortality reporting systems. I get to go from ignorance to discovery back to ignorance again. I break complex challenges down to their simplest parts and look to future trends to re-imagine what’s possible. As a current Entrepreneur-in-Residence, I’m allowed to fail, and I work with people who understand that failure is what allows us to test our assumptions and uncover clues to make our solutions better. As you consider applying, know that your work will make a difference.