Tech Leaders Recruited to Modernize Federal Agencies

August 4, 2017 - 2 minutes read

With all the scrutiny he faces for his sketchy run-ins with the Russians, it’s easy to forget that Jared Kushner has an actual job that he’s supposed to be doing — several jobs, actually. Among other things, President Trump’s son-in-law and trusted adviser is head of the Office of American Innovation. MedTech app developers may recall that this office was created by the Trump administration in order to find tech solutions to make the federal bureaucracy run more efficiently. Just yesterday, the office debuted a new telehealth app at the Department of Veteran Affairs, an organization that has literally killed people with its inefficiency.

The Office of American Innovation also made a call yesterday to some of the biggest names in the tech industry to ask for their assistance in restructuring the way that the federal government utilizes technology. Apple, Google, Amazon, IBM, Oracle, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were among the companies on the call. The pitch these companies received from the president’s team of advisers involved borrowing some of the top minds from these companies for “tours of duty” wherein they would guide special teams on ways to modernize the day-to-day operations of federal agencies. Kushner and company want the tech world to give the government pointers on relaxing regulations, releasing government data to the private sector, and adopting cloud computing. MedTech app developers wouldn’t be wrong to say that this sounds like a mutually beneficial business deal between the government and tech industry.

The call took place less than two months after the much-touted White House “tech week.” While the specifics of the Office of American Innovation’s plan remain vague, it does seem like the office took many of the ideas tech leaders brought to “tech week” to heart. There was a lot of talk yesterday about taking computer science education more seriously, something that Apple CEO Tim Cook was adamant about in meetings last June. Bay Area MedTech app developers are interested to see if these plans and promises develop beyond mere talk — and whether they will actually benefit startups, government employees, and the American people.

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