The presentation focused on how HHS is living up to President Obama's "Open Government Initiative", which promises to have a "system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration". In terms of health data, Mr. Park said let's stop making people find data. Instead, let's "make data find people". In order to develop channels to help data find us, HHS has been engaging leaders from many areas of popular social media and technology (e.g., YouTube and Smart Phone application development). The government team has been sending the message "the data is yours...let's see what you do with it". In order to get the creative juices flowing, HHS has held and continues to hold "Health 2.0 Developer Challenges". The most current being the "Go Viral Collegiate Challenge" which calls on multidisciplinary teams from colleges and universities to develop a web or mobile application to address a significant health problem facing their communities.
Check out some examples of data applications produced through the use of open government health data:
- Community Clash: An online card game that engages you in a discovery of your community's health and well-being status and let's you see how it compares to other communities in a head-to-head clash. (*Warning- apparently this game is incredibly addicting!)
- Asthmapolis: A device that uses global positioning satellite technology (GPS) to determine the time and location when an asthma inhaler is used. The data is then stored on a server. The user can use this device to track asthma symptoms, triggers, and medication use- which could lead to an identification of environmental or other factors which improve/worsen their condition.