Developer Challenges Overview

Evolving the Platform (HDP)

As part of the HHS Open Government Plan, the Platform (HDP) is a flagship initiative and focal point helping to establish learning communities that collaboratively evolve and mature the utility and usability of a broad range of health and human service data. HDP is leveraging Web oriented and Cloud based architecture frameworks and standards, running on open source software components to deliver enhanced Health IT infrastructure capabilities. HDP will facilitate better integration, analysis, and interpretation of our data, helping meet the growing demand for more public and private sector value added information services. Through expanded use of application programming interfaces (APIs) and the incorporation of new data element identification and metadata tagging methodologies, HDP will improve the liquidity of health data, increasing the efficiency of data transfer and the effectiveness of data distributions. Overall, HDP will deliver greater potential for new data driven insights into complex interactions of health and health care services.

To augment the HDP effort, seven complementary developer challenges will be released over the course of a year to encourage innovation around initial platform- and domain-specific priority areas, fostering opportunities to tap the creativity of entrepreneurs and productivity of developers. The challenge competitions are of two types: three domain-specific challenges are intended to improve the integration and liquidity of data made available, and four platform-specific challenges are intended to enhance the capabilities of the technology components being employed. The virtual machines and codebase outputs from innovations demonstrated by challenge participants will be made publically available through HHS Github repositories as release candidates for further community refinement as necessary, including open source licensing and contributor attribution as appropriate, with the goal being incorporation into subsequent HDP product roadmap releases.

Domain Challenges

    1. The Metadata domain challenge requests the application of existing voluntary consensus standards for metadata common to all open government data, and invites new designs for health domain specific metadata to classify datasets in our growing catalog, creating entities, attributes and relations that form the foundations for better discovery, integration and liquidity.

    This challenge is open now! See this blog post for more information.

      2. The Mapping, Reconciliation and Correlation’ domain challenge builds on the Metadata domain challenge and begins by acknowledging disparate open government publishing practices and seeks the demonstration of an innovative and automated solution for transforming semi-structured data into structured data, reconciles decentralized distributions about the same data entity against the master identity of an authoritative source, and correlates these master identities when multiple authoritative sources exist, enabling the network effect by introducing strong identity resolution techniques that ease the ability to aggregate different data about the same entities from independent publishers.

      3. The Correlating HHS – NHS Classifications domain challenge builds on both the Metadata and Mapping, Reconciliation and Correlation domain challenges, and uses the US and UK health domain specific classification schemes to exercise the capabilities demonstrated by the automated solution to the Mapping, Reconciliation and Correlation challenge, resulting in better international integration of frameworks for understanding societal outcomes and their corresponding health statistics.

      Platform challenges

        1. The WebID based SSO platform challenge will improve community engagement by providing simplified sign on (SSO) for external users interacting across multiple HDP technology components, making it easier for community collaborators to contribute, leveraging new approaches to decentralized authentication. 

        This challenge is open now! See this blog post for more information.

          2. The Faceted Browsing and Visualization platform challenge builds on the Metadata domain challenge and uses the most popular browser based UI frameworks and libraries to realize novel exploration and discovery techniques for traversing large amounts of interrelated data, contributing to a growing collection of open source widgets that make it easy for third parties to create new applications and embed health data in their content.

          3. The Custom API platform challenge will also build on the Metadata domain challenge and make it possible to tune the programmatic access in accordance with the unique content of different datasets to the classifying metadata, leveraging an existing ‘Web 3.0’ framework and Linked Data API (LDA) implementation to provide specialized interfaces for machine friendly access to specific data.

          4. The LDA based DEAS platform challenge builds on the Metadata domain challenge, and the Web ID based SSO and Custom API platform challenges, augmenting WebID based authentication with metadata driven authorization, introducing an innovative security and privacy implementation of ‘data element access services’ (DEAS) described by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Health Information Technology report, resulting in a Custom API configured by domain specific metadata that governs fine grained access to provide the right data to the right user.