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Health law symposium explores technological advances and big data

DePaul's 2016 health law symposium featured practitioners, technological experts and other professionals working together in the health care sector and using technological advances to improve upon traditional practices. "The New Frontier of Health Innovation: Navigating the Regulatory Landscape" offered insights from individuals navigating an increasingly complex set of statutory and administrative rules and the legal practitioners that aid their efforts.

"In many ways, this is a lecture we couldn’t have given two to three years ago," said Dr. Raj Shah, principle investigator at the Chicago Area Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Network and associate professor of family medicine at Rush University Hospital. Shah led the panel discussion, "Protecting Information in the Face of Innovation: Precision Medicine and the Population Health Research in Health Systems." Shah provided a brief history of health care security regulation, including complications with the HIPAA Privacy Rule and HITECH, and presented current tensions needing resolution. He described evolutionary steps toward acquiring more data, such as contractual agreements to enable efficient and value added data flows for research, institutional collaboration and data repositories at institutions. In addition, he discussed the balance between data privacy and protecting commons.

Other panels discussed legal and regulatory considerations, ethics in healthcare technology and the impact of gender and sex on innovation and health technology. 

"The symposium provided DePaul a terrific opportunity to bring together health care innovators with lawyers and regulators to discuss both the potential and the challenges that technological advances and the use of big data bring to the field," said Associate Professor Wendy Netter Epstein, faculty director of the Jaharis Health Law Institute (JHLI). "This sort of collaboration among key industry players is central to the mission of the institute."

The symposium was presented by the DePaul Journal ​o​f Health Care Law,  the JHLI, the Center for Intellectual Property Law & Information Technology, and the DePaul Journal of Art, Technology & Intellectual Property.