Episode #173 The ‘Data Humanity Lab’ – A Radical Contribution to Next-Gen Public Health & Health Equity with Brian Urban, MS, MBA, MPH, Director of Innovation & Emerging Markets at Finthrive


The digital/data revolution in healthcare is upon us, and amongst other things, it’s recreating public health, population health and health equity. One of the groups at the forefront of this movement is the ‘Data Humanity Lab’ at Finthrive.  

In this episode, we’ll hear directly from one of the emerging leaders in the field, Brian Urban – the Director of Innovation & Emerging Markets at Finthrive. Brian and his colleagues are not just advancing health equity and public health – they’re redefining what it means. To achieve this, they’re partnering with hospital systems and provider groups, health plans, device & tech manufacturers, as well as leading universities and academic medical centers.

I learned a lot during this interview, including:

  1. The radical contribution the Data Humanity Lab is making by providing its exclusive data sets and expert services for free to health equity programs and researchers across the country. 
  2. How the ‘Gramm-Leach-Bliley Permissible Use Act’ protects consumers from both intended and unintended harmful use of their personal data.
  3. The gaps in public health education that we need to get beyond.
  4. The severe limitations of the claims, clinical and outcomes data we’re currently using in allowing us to understand the health-related conditions and needs of people.  
  5. How expanded data sets (i.e. consumer marketing data) are being used to greatly improve our ‘whole-person’ understanding of the social determinants of health.
  6. Examples of specific projects in which healthcare systems, such as Dartmouth and UPMC, are partnering with the Data Humanity Lab.

Many of my colleagues talk about how entrenched the system is. Well, here is an example of how individuals in a visionary organization are not accepting that belief, radically transforming healthcare for the better. What Brian and his colleagues are doing is a wonderful example of an emerging humanistic leadership mindset in American healthcare. You’ll have to listen in to really understand what I’m talking about, but in this interview Brian challenges us all to reframe our business models from a more humanistic lens. 

Zeev Neuwirth, MD