Todd Park is the “entrepreneur in residence” (aka Chief Technical Officer) for the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). He’s an awesome (and I mean it) speaker, articulate and inspiring. Watch his 9:39 talk at O’Reilly’s “Gov 2.0 Expo” conference last month:

LOOK: The US government is ASKING for us to participate in making things happen! First up: We need a catchier name for “CHDI.” So you can go vote. As I write this, after a week there are a measly 200 votes, and since every participant gets TEN  votes, it means our participation sucks!  Get off your butt – go vote, and tell friends!

I assert that a great name for this project would be one that’s clear and makes it obvious to the right people what’s going on.

  • The name will appear in press releases, blog post headlines, RSS feeds, tweets, etc.
  • Readers today give a split second to things, unless their interest is caught. So it’s great if a name requires no explanation.
  • Who are the right people? Most of all (IMO) it’s the people from whom we want action: innovators.

By that standard the name should make clear, in an instant,what it’s about. So I suggested OpenHealthData.gov.  Somebody else suggested HealthData.gov, because shorter names are generally better.

Go vote, and tell friends!
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Related resources:

  • Here’s our June 6 post our June 6 post about the amazing event Todd promised, with the apps that innovators have already developed, out of nowhere, just because they got their hands on the data. FREE.
    • Well, taxpayers paid for it long ago – but now the government is putting it out there for anyone to harvest. Smart innovators will pick up this “free fuel” and use it, while dumb ones will say “Huh? What good is health data?”
  • Susannah Fox’s June 2 post, before the launch  Making Health Data Sing (even if it’s an old song). She’s cautiously skeptical – “Pew Internet research finds that at least some Americans have an appetite for government data. Do they have an appetite for doing something about it?”

Me, well, I’m just hungry for innovation. Last summer at HHS, Susannah quoted one of my lines:

I want innovation at a rate that resembles the rate of improvement in cell phones and iPods: I want to think, in 2011, that the healthcare tool I started using in 2009 is, well, “that’s SO 2009,” just the way many people think about their cell phones.

For innovators, information is fuel. So to me, this project is like free fuel. Let’s spread the word!

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