Health IT gets a friend at the top in Aneesh Chopra

Summary:What's needed for better technology policy in government may be someone who understands how to make better tech policy in government. Health IT is that area of technology whose deals are most like government contracting anyway.

Aneesh Chopra, the President's choice as the nation's first Chief Technology Officer, is the best possible friend for health IT.

A point highlighted on the official biography at his old job is his Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2007 State Leadership Advocacy Award.

Before taking his state job he was very involved in the problems of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and in interviews always gives health IT a shout-out.

While there was a lot of comment about the President creating a "team of rivals" in his Administration, Chopra is close to Vivek Kundra, the governement CIO appointed last month. That means there won't be fighting at the top of the government stack.

Open source uber-guru Tim O'Reilly is over the moon about the Chopra pick, noting his work on an open source textbook, and the creation of a state-run venture capital fund.

Chopra grasps the power of open source software, Web 2.0, user-participation, and why it's better to harness the ingenuity of a developer community than to specify complete top-down solutions.

It's clear that while former President Bush drew his top advisors from business, President Obama is drawing from state government. Given that reality, taking Virginia's technology officer seems a safe choice.

Virginians were skeptical when Chopra took their job. They seem his biggest boosters now.

What's needed for better technology policy in government may be someone who understands how to make better tech policy in government. Health IT is that area of technology whose deals are most like government contracting anyway.

We could have done worse. Could we have done better?

Topics: IT Employment, CXO, Enterprise Software, Government, Government : US, Health, Open Source, Software

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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