The Redox Podcast 7: The new interoperability paradigm with America's first CTO, Aneesh Chopra

February 4, 2020
Niko Skievaski President & Co-Founder

Key Moments

2:25 – Aneesh’s service as U.S. CTO 
15:12 – The role of government policy in encouraging innovation in healthcare
25:12 – Evolving infrastructure and incentives to promote interoperability
33:54 Explaining the new rules from CMS
45:11 – Creating the apps that will facilitate consumer and industry adoption of new programs 
54:05 – Resources for driving interoperability 

“I believe that this public-private interface is an opportunity for effectiveness and efficiency across health, energy and financial services. I’m passionate! Let’s get healthcare right – let’s work together to make things better – and who knows what the future holds!” 

Aneesh Chopra

Aneesh Chopra is one of the foremost names in healthcare IT today. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the United States’ first Chief Technology Officer. After his three years as CTO, President Obama hailed his service, saying Chopra’s “legacy of leadership and innovation will benefit Americans for years to come.”

In the years since he served as the nation’s CTO, Chopra has worked tirelessly to promote a better and more efficient healthcare system. Aneesh was one of the four industry leaders who convened the CARIN Alliance in 2016, a bipartisan, multi-sector collaborative working to advance the consumer-directed exchange of health information. He was also part of the founding group that started the Argonaut Project, an effort designed to accelerate the development and adoption of HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard. Chopra authored a book, “Innovative State: How New Technologies can Transform Government.” Currently, Aneesh is president of CareJourney, a healthcare analytics company based in Arlington, Virginia.

I first met Aneesh in 2015 at an early Project Argonaut meeting at HIMSS. Aneesh acted as the facilitator for the 30 or so people in the room. In attendance were the now legends of FHIR. They took turns discussing how this private initiative would catalyze the adoption of the nascent standard. 

At one point, Farzad Mostashari stood up and gave an impassioned rant, “The one thing we can all agree on is that THIS IS THE PATIENT’S DATA!” Farzad, of course, was National Coordinator for HHS and the man behind Meaningful Use, the federal incentive program that subsidized the adoption of electronic health record technology.

Fast forward five years and we’re approaching another HIMSS. And how things have changed. FHIR is about to be mandated (if we ever get these final rules…) Patients will be able to authorize any application they want to use their EHR data. Data blocking will be defined and outlawed. 

What does all this progress add up to? In this extended interview, I was able to get a glimpse of the new interoperability paradigm as described by one of our industry’s great visionaries, in terms of the interoperability and policy debate. 

Do we see light at the end of this dark interoperability tunnel? Tune in to find out!