Chief in­no­va­tion of­fi­cer Bos­ton Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal

Modern Healthcare - - 2015 UP & COMERS - —Adam Ruben­fire

A young John Brownstein was on track for med­i­cal school when he stum­bled into a field he found much more in­ter­est­ing: epi­demi­ol­ogy. He’s taken that in­ter­est and lever­aged big data and tech­nol­ogy to of­fer in­sights to providers and public health of­fi­cials.

Dur­ing his 11 years with Bos­ton Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, Brownstein, who has a Ph.D, has de­vel­oped a num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions that comb the Web and use out­sourc­ing to mon­i­tor dis­ease out­breaks, drug side ef­fects and street sales of pre­scrip­tion drugs.

“Gen­er­ally, public health moves very slowly,” Brownstein said. “Min­ing open in­tel­li­gence that’s out there gives us in­sight into what’s hap­pen­ing.”

In 2007, Brownstein spun off Epi­demico, a public health in­for­mat­ics com­pany, with Bos­ton Chil­dren’s, Har­vard Med­i­cal School and the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy. Later bought by Booz Allen Hamil­ton, Epi­demico gath­ers data and of­fers anal­y­sis for public health of­fi­cials.

In June, Brownstein was named chief in­no­va­tion of­fi­cer at Bos­ton Chil­dren’s, a role in which he helps hos­pi­tal fac­ulty com­mer­cial­ize their ideas and use tech­nol­ogy to im­prove pa­tients’ ex­pe­ri­ence. Bos­ton Chil­dren’s CEO San­dra Fen­wick said she’s ex­cited about what Brownstein can bring to his new role af­ter ev­ery­thing he’s done so far.

“He is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, an ed­u­ca­tor and an epi­demi­ol­o­gist, so he re­ally un­der­stands data and how it will work in solv­ing prob­lems,” Fen­wick said. “Peo­ple want to fol­low him be­cause they love his ap­proach.”

“Peo­ple want to fol­low him be­cause they love his ap­proach.” —San­dra Fen­wick, CEO

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