Design for America – Visualizing Health Data to Inspire Community Action

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

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