Health Care

Former US Health Secretary & Governor and Former US Senator Call for Big Ideas on Health Data Privacy

May 31, 2022  • Kathleen Sebelius & Bill Frist

The mission of the Aspen Health Strategy Group (AHSG), part of the Health, Medicine & Society Program at the Aspen Institute, is to promote improvements in policy and practice by providing leadership on complex health issues. AHSG brings together some two dozen senior leaders representing a mix of influential sectors, including health, business, philanthropy, and technology, to tackle a single health issue annually through year-long, in-depth study. Co-chairs are Kathleen Sebelius, 21st U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and former Governor of the State of Kansas, and William Frist, former U.S. Senator from Tennessee and former Senate Majority Leader.

The topic of AHSG’s seventh annual report is health data privacy. Do you have a big idea to tackle this issue? Submit it to us online by filling out a short form.

Health data are transforming the health care landscape in constantly evolving ways. In the age of “big data,” fueled by advances in data collection, data mining, analytics, and computing power, the scope of available information has exploded. Health data are increasingly used by businesses, governments, clinicians, health systems, and patients. The potential benefits of health data are immense: new treatments, better disease detection, faster drug development, personalized medicine, and more.

Yet, harnessing the power of data requires attention to privacy, crafting an ethical balance between innovation and patient autonomy. We want your big ideas regarding health data privacy, considering domains including law, ethics, and medicine. How do we honor patient preferences while promoting innovation? What is the health system’s role in data privacy?  What are the limits of current privacy law that need to be modified? How should data that fall outside existing privacy laws (e.g. HIPAA) be handled? We invite you to submit your big idea that addresses these questions and more.

To give you a sense of the tone and scope of the Aspen Health Strategy Group, please consult these links with our reports over the years:

This year we are looking for big ideas that will transform ways to address the challenges of health data privacy. They should be “big” – as in meaningful and bold – and “ideas” as in reflecting thought and not simply an exhortation that someone do something they should be doing already.

We know that good ideas can come from anywhere and anyone, so we are opening up our solicitation for big ideas to everyone. If you have an idea regarding the promise and regulation of health data privacy, we hope you will share it with us. The AHSG staff and members will select up to five that will be included in a paper that will be prepared later in the year. This isn’t a competition—there is no prize—but your big idea just might become the starting point for much-needed change in healthcare.

For complete information about our guidelines, and to submit your big idea, go here.