Rasu Shrestha, UPMC

We are joined by Dr. Rasu Shrestha, an incredibly gifted individual in the health and technology space. He was recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the 26 “Smartest People in Health IT” and InformationWeek said he was one of the “Top 20 Health IT Leaders Driving Change”. He holds two roles at UPMC in Pittsburgh. He's both the chief innovation officer for UPMC and he's also the executive vice president of UPMC Enterprises, which is the innovation and commercialization arm of UPMC – we’re going to dive into that group, what they do and how they do it.

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The latest news, this was just announced on March 19, Rasu has been named by the US Department of Veterans Affairs to lead the work mapping the electronic medical record to the FHIR APIs, and to create common data standards through industry partnerships. This could bring about the end of the interoperability problem that’s been the bane of EMRs since they came into existence.

Rasu is also the co-chair of the Health Datapalooza meeting which is being held on April 26 and 27 at the Washington Hilton in Washington DC. He shares why this meeting is important and what you can expect if you head out there too.

Today's Topics

  • Why the integrated healthcare model of UPMC drives and supports change
  • The role of UPMC Enterprises in fostering innovation throughout the 80,000+ person organization
  • The move from volume to value and how that gets measured
  • The importance of partnerships in solving healthcare and data challenges
  • How Health Datapalooza helps drive best practice across policy, public and private organizations

Links and Resources Mentioned

Lightning Round Answers

1- What is a saying, quote or phrase that motivates you?

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” ~ Michelangelo

2- What advice do you have for others working to innovate in healthcare?

“Start first with Empathy. It's really important for us as innovators, as doers, as believers, to walk in their shoes. Shut that laptop, roll up your sleeves, immerse yourself with that nurse, that patient, that physician. Do it.”

3- What book do you recommend to our listeners?

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City – by Matthew Desmond

Get your free audio book on Audible.com

4- What technology do you recommend to our listeners?

Mozilla Foundation ‘Open Badges'

5- If I gave you a check for $5 million for you to invest in health technology today, how would you invest it?

Invest in understanding the specifics of the social determinants of healthcare.

6- We make a contribution to a charity in appreciation of your time on the show – what charity have you selected and can you tell us a little about what they do?

Rukmini Foundation @rukminifund –  The Rukmini Foundation’s mission is to empower girls through quality education so that we can eradicate child marriage, end gender inequality, and enable a more equitable and prosperous Nepal. https://www.rukminifoundation.org/


Dan Kendall

Dan Kendall


As an engineer and business leader, I've worked to develop, launch and scale innovative products and solutions that impact health and wellness. As an entrepreneur, I know firsthand what it takes to start a business, build a team, and compete in the global marketplace.

On Digital Health Today, I leverage my experiences to help great leaders and innovators tell their stories and connect to users, investors and other stakeholders.

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