Building the Health Information Infrastructure for the Modern ePatient

Alex Howard | O'Reilly Radar | February 21, 2012

Dr. Farzad Mostashari on how the web, data and epatients are poised to revolutionize healthcare.

To learn more about what levers the government is pulling to catalyze innovation in the healthcare system, I turned to Dr. Farzad Mostashari (@Farzad_ONC). As the National Coordinator for Health IT, Mostashari is one of the most important public officials entrusted with improving the nation's healthcare system through smarter use of technology.

Mostashari, a public-health informatics specialist, was named ONC chief in April 2011, replacing Dr. David Blumenthal. Mostashari's full biography, available at, notes that he "was one of the lead investigators in the outbreaks of West Nile Virus and anthrax in New York City, and was among the first developers of real-time electronic disease surveillance systems nationwide."

I talked to Mostashari on the same day that he published a look back over 2011, which he hailed as a year of momentous progress in health information technology. Our interview follows...