BIG DATA Discussion at HIMSS Policy Summit 2013 Mentions Mental Health


A panel of noted speakers at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Policy Summit in Washington D.C. on Thursday, September 19. 

Keynoter and featured speaker Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) addressed mental health efforts, citing the September tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard — in which a former Navy reservist killed 12 innocent people. Murphy said, “We don’t want to keep people from getting the help they need … we need to continue research on medications and use healthcare technology to monitor those who should be on medication.”

He commented that traditional mental health patient information is stored in silos that don’t connect with one another, creating unnecessary and harmful barriers. He made the point that, given today’s technology, such barriers can and need to be broken down.

Attorney Jessica Rosenworcel, commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, commented that providers can develop a wide variety of initiatives with the FCC’s Healthcare Connect Fund, established in 2012 to supply up to $400 million for health care provider access to high-bandwidth connections.

Pointing to the future of BIG DATA, otherwise known as “informatics,”  Rosenworcel envisioned a healthcare system that aggregates patients with rare diseases and connects them to treatment. She expanded on the concept of the medical home, outlining a system that fosters aging in place. Multicultural and multilingual specialization is also in the works, connecting patients to doctors with specialized cultural and language needs.

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