Design for America – Visualizing Health Data to Inspire Community Action
This blog was originally posted on the White House OSTP Blog on May 03, 2010
By Aneesh Chopra
For those of you unable to participate in last Friday’s summit on innovation through prizes, challenges, and open grantmaking, I am pleased to report on an opportunity to put your best ideas to work. One of the participants in Friday’s meeting, the Sunlight Foundation, highlighted the “Design for America” competition, which is offering a $5,000 prize for the best visualization of community health data.
A terrific collection of community health information is already available thanks to the Community Health Data Initiative, one of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) open-government flagship projects. According to Sunlight, “the visualizations should contribute toward the development of community health data dashboards that will enhance usability and understandability of health data for citizens and civic leaders. Entries will be judged based on how effectively, accurately, and creatively they enable users to gain insight about health performance in their communities as compared to others.”
Are you interested in improving the health performance of your community? Curious about how the quality and cost of healthcare services in your area compare with others? Willing to put your technology talents to work to spur change in our nation’s health system? Then spend a few weeks figuring out how to visualize the most compelling data sets available free of charge at HHS.
I am hopeful that when we tap into the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people, we will strengthen our democracy and help improve the lives of everyday Americans. Thanks for participating.
Aneesh Chopra is U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Associate Director for Technology in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
It is time for us to think outside the box to do Public Health. Gathering data and making programs work with data seem so impossible. But, with innovation such as this, I am looking forward to seeing Public Health arena take flight. I am a supporter, a strong supporter of this innovation. GOOD JOB!
Excellent idea. Let's see you put it into practice.
Why is it so difficult to submit a freedom of information request? There should be a policy of no wrong portal so that once you find a freedom of information act form online you can direct it to the appropriate agency. I recently attempted to request copies of winning Beacon Community Grants and was redirected back from the FCC site to HSS but there isn't a portal for Office of the National Coordinator requests.. This should be a simple search, a quick form and request.
Think this is on the right track but would be careful of not making "Design for America Competition" too simple, too hollow, too showy with little real value or impact. As an example, health isn't simple, and the translation of data into tools that unveil the relationship between the many different moving parts that influence health will take considerable thought and effort. Particularly, if it is the goal of the government to activate citizens to participate in their health, the health of their communities, and the health of the nation. That said this is an age of exploration and we're somewhere in the middle of the "S-curve" - can't wait to see where this will go- all very exciting.