Photo Friday: What Innovation in your DNA looks like

I try and take photographs that capture people as they are (I call it “the human spirit”). This week’s photo wasn’t taken by me ( Thank you@erinm81 ) but notice how the silly shot is always more interesting than the serious shot. It’s from this week’s code-a-thon, where we worked with the newly published open data API by Kaiser Permanente. 

Not here because we don’t want to change light bulbs, here because we want to change the world View Interchange by KP Code-a-Thon 25596 on

Laugh once a day

This photograph was taken by me. The people in the photograph are, on a daily basis, dealing with the most vexing problems in health care known. Not just how to provide coverage and service, but to recruit and train the best nurses, doctors, and physicians, with the highest quality and zero (zero) disparities, and not for the purpose of delivering great care either, for the purpose of helping people and communities achieve their goals in life. And yet, they can come from across the country to find new ways to do it better, with humility and humor.

A little plug for my team’s project (which was not the uber winner – that title goes most awesomely to our Kaiser Permanente Georgia colleagues, iThrive C in the photos). We used the new API to create a workflow for physicians/care providers to happily and supportively accept tracking data from your device/app of choice, provide feedback, and use it to change the social milieu of health. We called it “Total Health Connect.”

When Farzad Mostashari, MD (@farzad_ONC) was in the other day, he remarked to us that he was impressed that our organization would bring together people (physicians from not 1, but 4 Permanente Medical Groups from across the United States) across disciplines to create the future. Honestly, though, it’s how we are – not here to keep from changing light bulbs, here to change the world.

Equality, one of the most important innovations

Speaking of zero disparities and changing the world, our week of innovation isn’t over. Kaiser Permanente is a silver sponsor in the Capital Pride parade and festival in our nation’s capital this weekend. Our doctors, nurses, staff, and members, are walking to support the health of our lesbian, gay, bixesual, transgender, and intersex members, staff, and communities who support them.

When innovation is in your DNA you apply it to everything you do 🙂


Ted Eytan, MD