"This matters. It's a matter of life and death."
Those were the words of Vice President Joe Biden on Monday when he spoke at the Health Datapalooza in Washington, DC.
The importance of healthcare IT and data sharing isn't lost on Biden. He experienced it firsthand as his son, Beau, was fighting cancer over a year ago. The Vice President described how difficult it was for the different hospitals his son received care at to share information.
As a result, Biden charged those in attendance at Health Datapalooza to make even more progress than what's been accomplished over the past few years.
"We have to asked ourselves, why are we not progressing more rapidly," Biden said. "While our government can do a great deal, this is not the work of the government alone. We all have to work together to make progress."
"Data and technology when combined can have an incredible impact on saving people's lives and improving the health of people here and around the world," he added.
The Vice President went on to offer some criticism about how data is shared presently. The presence of silos restricts interoperability progress and creates barriers for technology platforms, resulting in the inability for those platforms to talk to one another.
"We need to break down silos that keep research away from the world. Researchers are incentivized to share data, but they need to share data to find results more rapidly."
"I promise you I'll do everything in my power to get the federal government, the private sector, academics...and investors to work together to share more of this data ultimately designed to save patients," he added.
The Health Datapalooza runs through Wednesday, May 11.