Patil says consumers are ready for, expect data science
Health IT shouldn't replace people but augment them, said D.J. Patil, PhD, the White House’s chief data scientist, speaking at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s fifth annual Consumer Health IT Summit on Oct. 1. Patil said data science is impacting many aspects of our lives. He cited the "cone of probability" used in weather forecasting. Twenty years ago, they didn't think people could handle probability but now "this is what we expect. We expect to see the data and we expect the data to be useful." Data science often isn't the complex answer, Patil said, but "the simple solution that drive the outcome. The math behind it may be incredible but data science often enables us to be clever with an outcome that provides utility." Data-driven organizations capture data and take in data extremely efficiently--cheap, fast and with utility. These organizations look at the data to create efficiencies and then use data to build innovations, he noted.  "You should only be focused on how you make people smarter, faster and more effective. How do you do that? You focus on building a super power.” But, poorly designed EHRs are like kryptonite to Superman. Patil said when someone loses his or her phone, the feeling is similar to a superhero losing his superpower. Successful data products, Patil said, should make users feel crippled without them if they were built the right way. "We need to focus on building a super power." Healthcare also needs "an ecosystem that really fosters innovation," he added. Products need to present data in a way that augments physicians and helps the patient, "products that are compassionate and really work for everybody."