JOHN BROWNSTEIN, 38
Chief innovation officer Boston Children’s Hospital
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