Blue Button Codeathon: Unlocking Data And Empowering Patients

Maya Uppaluru | Health IT Buzz | November 8, 2013

Anyone who has struggled to remember the name of their medication or the date of their child’s vaccination, while juggling multiple doctor appointments for family members, knows firsthand how important it is that patients have access to their health information. We think our Blue Button initiative can help.

We’re working every day at ONC to make sure that all patients can take advantage of their legal right to access their health data.  The goal of the Blue Button initiative is to empower patients to download their health information in both a human and machine-readable format, and support developers with standards and guidance to create patient-facing technology.

Liberating patient data, or making information from data holders such as insurance companies and health care providers easily available to patients, through Blue Button will require strong partnerships between a variety of players: health care professionals, the government, patients, and the innovation community.  Recently ONC, working closely with Optum, an information and technology-enabled health services business, hosted a Power to the Patient Codeathon at Health 2.0’s Annual Fall Conference  in San Francisco. We also worked with Validic, a REST API that connects data from more than 75 mobile health apps, wearables, and in-home medical devices, to offer access to a range of sample data.