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4th Open Data Ireland Meetup

Posted by Dominic Byrne on Thu, 14 Mar 2013 00:42:42 GMT

The 4th Open Data Ireland Meetup took place on Thursday 7th March 2013 in EngineYard, Barrow Street, Dublin. The theme of this meetup was Healthcare, and was attended by around 35 people.

Denis Parfenov @xzy_ was our compere for the evening once again and introduced the topic by showing of a video interview with Tim Kelsey @tkelsey1 who is National Director for Patients and Information in the UK National Health Service.  He spoke about putting the patient at the centre of healthcare, the need for openness and transparency in the healthcare system, and evidence-based decision-making for healthcare.  The video is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3h9MyE9rp4

Roisin Shortall T.D. @roisinshortall was up next to speak about evidence-based decision-making in the Irish Health Service.  She spoke of the need for evidence-based decision-making to allow for better health, fairer services, transparency, trust, reducing waste and avoiding cronyism.  Interestingly, she spoke of the limited legislative basis for healthcare provision.  She also spoke about the large amount of data about health that is available – especially from the Health Intelligence Unit  The huge opportunities for using Health data for analyzing and improving healthcare provision and outcomes were also outlined, as well as the potential for opening up Healthcare data for improved information for Health Service users.

Dr. Gerard Boyle, Medical Physicist in St. James’ Hospital talked about the Local Asset Mapping Project (LAMP) to map all services in an area.  This will ultimately allow people to manage their health and assist in general well-being of citizens.  Proposed data layers include the map of the area, assets and services, activities in an area, data collected about the health of the population in the area along with hospital and census data.  The project website is at http://www.healthmap.ie/  There is also a technology project to develop the website and app for LAMP at http://www.thedigitalhub.com/move-to-the-hub/connected-health/lamp--the-1st-connected-health-initiative-/1239

After the customary Beer and Pizza courtesy of EngineYard, we heard about all the work that had been done at the Irish Open Data Hackathon on 23rd February.  Details of the various projects that were worked on can be seen at http://wiki.opendataday.org/Dublin2013#Dublin_2013_-_2_Minute_project_pitches

Following the project presentations there was a discussion on the Healthcare theme facilitated by Sara Burke @sburx.  The discussion kicked off on the subject of how to obtain access to Healthcare data.  The discussion ranged from the eGovernment Strategy requirement for public bodies to release data, to a suggestion that people could volunteer their health data.  There were contributions about demonstrating the value of releasing data through creating good reuse exemplars, and demonstrating the value of Open Data to the public sector itself.  The idea of organising an Open Data event aimed at the Public Sector was suggested.  The lack of awareness of Open Data among the general public and politicians was also raised – Roisin Shortall suggested that there might be an opportunity to organise an information session on Open Data for members of the Oireachtas.  Sara has kindly captured and shared the suggestions from the discussion.

Denis wrapped up the evening giving details of Open Data Ireland Meetup #5 which will take place on Thursday 21st March 2013 at 6:30pm in Engine Yard.

Thanks to everyone who attended, to Denis Parfenov and Dearbhla Keating @dke_ for organising, to Sara Burke for facilitating the discussion and to Eamon Leonard @eamonleonard for hosting.

#opendatairl tweets from the meetup have been storified at http://storify.com/FingalOpenData/4th-open-data-ireland-meetup

Dominic Byrne,
Fingal County Council.
7th March, 2013 

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