Todd Park in New York City: Making big data sexy

We got some love from Todd Park, the chief technology officer of the federal Department of Health and Human Services the other day.

He was the featured speaker at a meeting of the Health 2.0 NYC group, co-sponsored with NYC Hacks/Hackers, as a result of an invitation I extended to him when we met at the Health Data Initiative in Washington earlier this summer.

Park’s speech was about the Open Government initiatives he’s spearheading for the Obama administration at HHS. Opening up vast troves of government data so it can be used to improve the health-care system is what he’s all about.

He’s passionate about this topic, and passionate about entrepreneurship. He also the antithesis of what you expect a government bureaucrat to be, as Simon Owens wrote in The Atlantic earlier this summer. (The photo above is from that spread.)

Here’s the Livestream — I highly recommend that you watch it. He ‘s probably one of the best speakers we’ve see in a long time, and is genuinely involved in making big data sexy.

He also gives clearhealthcosts.com  a couple of shout-outs for being creative and entrepreneurial, and for being effective about the use of the data he’s freed.

Here too is a tip of the hat to the entrepreneurs and innovators at Health 2.0 NYC, and especially Alex Fair, and the Hacks/Hackers NYC, and especially Chrys Wu, who made incredible efforts to pull off a big event for about 250 people at Pfizer’s Midtown auditorium on a Friday afternoon in August.

And take a second to check out our PriceMap: it’s the product of a big database release of Medicare prices from the HHS data trove, married to some data smarts. Take a look at the pricing disparities — it’s a real eye-opener.