Startups for Healthier Veterans, Smarter Kids, and Lower Utility Bills
What do healthier veterans, smarter kids, and lower utility bills have in common? In each of these areas of national interest – health care, education, and energy – startups are already making a difference.
President Obama is focused on ensuring startups – in all industries and all states – have a chance to succeed and create good-paying jobs. At his Cabinet meeting this week, the President announced the one-year anniversary of Startup America, called for legislation to help startups and small businesses, based on common-sense bipartisan ideas.
But the Administration hasn’t been waiting for Congress to act. In health care, education, and energy, for example, we’ve been busy working to ensure that Americans can access innovative new products and services—and that new markets are open for entrepreneurs and innovators—by ensuring consumers can get access to their own data, easily and securely.
- In health care, Blue Button provides a secure way for patients to download their health information (from the Veterans Administration, Medicare, the Department of Defense, and certain private-sector companies) and share it with health care providers, caregivers, and others they trust. Innovative small companies, like San Diego based Humetrix, are putting patients in control of their health information, so they can receive the best care possible from informed doctors.
- In education, the Department of Education is committed to enable students to easily download and share their Federal Student Aid data, so students and parents can make more informed decisions about where to enroll in college. And in K-12 education, with new digital learning tools for students, parents, and teachers, startups promise to transform the way teachers teach and students learn.
- In energy, Green Button is the common-sense idea that electricity customers should be able to download their own detailed household or commercial electricity usage data from their utility website. Startups like Opower, Tendril, Simple Energy, and others are building web and smartphone tools to help consumers conserve energy and save money.
In our increasingly digital world, consumers deserve easy and secure access to their own health, education, and energy data--such as medical records, transcripts, and utility bills--in consumer- and computer-friendly formats.
Empowering consumers with this kind of information—in addition to fostering interoperable systems and opening up government data (e.g. NOAA’s weather data, which fuels many weather-related businesses)—promises to unlock market opportunities for many high-potential startups and ensure we have an America built to last.
Aneesh Chopra is the U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Nick Sinai is the Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer
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