A Buffet of Health Data

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By Aman Bhandari | On Tue, 09/18/2012 - 12:42pm

Co-authored by @GHideas and @worksteven Updated September 26, 2012

Hundreds of codeathons are held throughout this country every year resulting in the development of innovative applications, like the “Like” button on Facebook, or solutions to critical social and health problems, like childhood obesity. 

Several codeathons are coming up that are focused on creating solutions in health care that you should check out.

Groundwork, Sept. 28 - 29, Baltimore, MD - Sign up here

SXSW Interactive Hack-a-thon 1.0, Sept. 29 - 30, Austin, TX - Sign up here

The Feast Conference Hackathon 2012, Oct. 4 - 5, New York, NY - Sign up here

Health Literacy Hackathon, Oct. 13 - 14 - Sign up here

HealthEHabits, Oct. 6 - 7, San Francisco, CA - Sign up here

Health 2.0 Austin Codeo, Oct. 19 - 21, Austin, TX - Sign up here

Build Health Hack-a-thon. Oct. 20, Milwaukee, WI - Sign up here

Hacking Medicine, Oct. 27 - 28, Boston, MA - Sign up here

The Department of Health and Human Services is interested in the development of innovative applications and solving critical social and health problems, and to help you optimize the opportunity you have to solve some of the most critical health issues this country faces we have developed HealthData.gov.  Healthdata.gov is populated with resources for developers, entrepreneurs and people who just want to play around with health data. On HealthData.gov there are over 300 datasets listed  which include everything from the FDA adverse events reporting database to information on over 120,000 clinical trials to Head Start locations nationwide to the Health Indicators Warehouse.  In addition to the robust amount general health data, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has national compare data available, ranging from hospital compare, to nursing compare to dialysis compare data, all of which can be found on Healthdata.gov and on Data.Medicare.gov.  To help you navigate Healthdata.gov and the available datasets, we have a slide deck that is our health data starter kit that will take you through an introduction of some of the datasets we have available.   

We have already seen success from developers who have taken open health data and leveraged it to tackle important health issues like FDA recalls at the Hokie Hackathon in Blacksburg, Virginia, childhood obesity at the Cajun Codefest in Lafayette, Louisiana or unemployment and its contributing factors at unWIREd in Baltimore, Maryland.  By participating in your own codeathon or the upcoming codeathon with the Greater Baltimore Tech Council, Groundwork, September 28th and 29th in Baltimore, Maryland, data is the fuel to solve some of the biggest health care problems in the nation.

At the largest highlight show of what developers and entrepreneurs are doing with open health data, this past June we held our 3rd Annual Health Datapalooza with over 1500 participants where we profiled how over 75 companies are using open government data to power their services, applications and insights. If you need some inspiration or ideas we have video of all the companies presenting at the 2012 Health Datapalooza.

If you want to stay abreast of related events and what we have going on you can sign up for our HHS Innovation Update and our weekly data news feed that focuses on the intersection between data, health and technology. Finally we will be opening up a call for applications to present at the 4th Annual Health Data Palooza in December for which anyone can apply.

Codeathons across the country have used open data as a raw material to supply their creations. In addition, open health data is being leveraged in several prize competitions that are currently open. Some data and non-data focused examples are listed below.


Health Data Platform Simple Sign-On Challenge

Deadline for submissions: October 3, 2012

Total Prizes: $35,000

Health Data Platform Metadata Challenge

Deadline for submissions: October 3, 2012

Total Prizes: $35,000

My Air, My Health Challenge

Deadline for submissions: October 6, 2012

Total Prizes: $160,000

The Million Hearts Risk Check Challenge

Deadline for submissions: October 31, 2012

Total Prizes: $125,000

Ocular Imaging Challenge

Deadline for submissions: November 9, 2012

Total Prizes: $150,000

Medicaid Provider Enrollment Screening Challenge Series

Deadline for submissions: November 16, 2012

Total Prizes: $500,000

Challenge: Reducing Cancer Among Women of Color

Deadline for submissions: February 5, 2013

Total Prizes:  $100,000

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