Henry Wei was selected as a Presidential Innovation Fellow for the Blue Button program as part of the new White House Presidential Innovation Fellows program. The program pairs top innovators from the private sector, nonprofits, and academia with top innovators in government to collaborate on solutions that aim to deliver significant results in six months.

The Blue Button program is aimed at providing easy access to health records by enabling individuals to securely download their own health information via a simple text file, such as current medications and drug allergies, claims and treatment data, and lab reports. The Department of Veterans Affairs – working with the Department of Health & Human Services, the Department of Defense, and others – are collaborating on the project.

This is one in a series introducing 18 Fellows working on five initiatives that are part of the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows program.

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is trying to do for the public what the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) did for veterans by building on the VA’s popular “Blue Button” application, allowing patients to get their medical records electronically on their mobile devices.

The “Blue Button” mashup challenge will be designed to bring “health information to the masses,” said Farzad Mostashari, MD, the national health information technology coordinator. It will allow anyone whose doctor keeps computerized records to get those records on mobile devices like phones, tablets and laptops. Keep reading →

Chris Vein works for two prominent Obama administration officials who are always in the limelight. Consequently Vein doesn’t get a lot of publicity. If you do a search on his name, the “news” results shows very little.

And that’s all fine with Vein, the deputy Chief Technology Officer. He reports to the chief technology officer (the post Aneesh Chopra held before stepping down earlier this month) and also to John Holdren, the senior advisor to the president for Science and Technology. Both have been highly visible – and in Holdren’s case, controversial – appointees.
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One day early last year, Veterans Affairs Department chief technology officer Peter Levin happened to run into VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

“He came up to me and said, ‘I hear you’re working on a special project.'” Levin’s project was a tool that would give veterans easy and quick online access to their personal health records. Keep reading →