West Wireless Health Institute Partners with the US Department of Health and Human Services to Launch Innovators in Residence Program

Initial research fellow developing innovative uses of data in health care

PR Newswire

SAN DIEGO and WASHINGTON, June 6, 2012

SAN DIEGO and WASHINGTON , June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today launched a ground-breaking “Innovator in Residence” (IIR) program with the West Wireless Health Institute (WWHI) to lower the cost and improve the quality of health care.

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With an initial focus on expanding the innovative use of HHS' health care data, the Innovator in Residence Fellow will act as a bridge to the entrepreneurial community to further the development of new health care-related applications and services that access massive datasets HHS is now making available.

Over the last year, HHS has been actively opening up its considerable data resources to the public via its Open Government Plan's Health Data Initiative and web site so that innovators across the country can use machine-readable data as fuel to help power novel applications (apps) and services that are already helping millions of Americans.

“Liberating data and getting it into the ecosystem is key to lowering health care costs, and is a core focus area of the West Wireless Health Institute,” said Dr. Mohit Kaushal , WWHI's executive vice president of business development and chief strategy officer.  “By hosting our Innovator in Residence, HHS is creating an active interface between the government and the entrepreneurial community to help explore what additional data can be made available to improve health care.”

HHS' IIR Fellow in this unique one-year program will be Pierce Graham-Jones , who recently served as strategy lead for the Beacon Community Program through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.  Selected in part due to his ability to bring advanced levels of formal training and entrepreneurial experience to HHS, Graham-Jones has extensive experience in health innovation and government service. 

“The 'Innovator in Residence' program is an exciting opportunity to expand the use of data to improve health,” said HHS Deputy Secretary Bill Corr . “Innovator in Residence Pierce Graham-Jones will help us develop relationships with entrepreneurs and encourage more public private partnerships to drive new health innovations using HHS data.”

In his former role, Graham-Jones was responsible for developing strategy for a $250 million program to demonstrate how investments in health IT can advance patient-centered care.  He has also served as an expert advisor to the Federal Communications Commission's first health care team and as a case team leader at the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm.

HHS' open-data efforts have already resulted in a multitude of innovative apps and services developed by entrepreneurs. Other potential applications that could be developed using this data set to improve or lower the cost of health care include:

  • An entrepreneur could build an app to geolocate and cross reference specialist physicians with their quality metrics using HHS' comprehensive directory of healthcare providers
  • Public health officials could cross-reference health care statistics by county with HAZMAT materials registration to research disease correlation
  • Family members could use eldercare quality ratings to select care options

“HHS is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs harness the power of data to help consumers, health care providers and communities improve health,” said Todd Park , U.S. Chief Technology Officer and former chief technology officer at HHS. “HHS' Innovator in Residence program is one more creative way to bring out that Department's wealth of data to those with the experience and entrepreneurial mindset to make use of it.”


The West Wireless Health Institute ( is the only medical research organization in the world focused on lowering health care costs through technology and innovation. The Institute was founded in 2009 by the Gary and Mary West Foundation, and is based in San Diego, California , the global center for health care innovation. Please follow us @westhealth.

SOURCE West Wireless Health Institute

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