Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

HHS Opioid Code-a-Thon

Turning data into insights for the opioid epidemic.

Department of Health and Human Services

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $30,000
Type of Challenge: Software and apps
Submission Start: 12/06/2017 01:00 PM ET
Submission End: 12/07/2017 04:00 PM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here:


Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve a prescription or illicit opioid. Ending this epidemic is among the Department’s top priorities, and to combat this crisis the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has implemented a five-part strategy that provides the overarching framework for HHS’s opioid-related activities. To build on these efforts, HHS is looking to leverage the full potential of data and technology to address the opioid crisis by hosting an Opioid Code-a-Thon. Participants will use a variety of provided datasets related to opioids and develop a solution to address one of the following challenge tracks:
  • Opioid Treatment
  • Opioid Usage
  • Opioid Misuse Prevention
For full details about this challenge, please view the official announcement of challenge requirements and registration.


Challenge Track: Opioid Treatment
Cash Prize Amount: $10000

Challenge Track: Opioid Usage
Cash Prize Amount: $10000

Challenge Track: Opioid Misuse Prevention
Cash Prize Amount: $10000


To be eligible to win a prize under this challenge, an individual or entity—
  • Shall have registered to participate in the competition under the rules promulgated by The Office of the CTO, HHS;
  • Shall have complied with all the requirements under this Announcement and any subsequently announced rules for the competition;
  • In the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;
  • May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment (all non-HHS federal employees must consult with their agency Ethics Official to determine whether the federal ethics rules will limit or prohibit the acceptance of a cash prize stemming from a federally sponsored prize competition);
  • Shall not be an HHS employee;
  • Federal grantees may not use Federal funds to develop submissions unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award;
  • Federal contractors may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop prize competition applications or to fund efforts in support of a prize competition submission;
  • Interested participants will be required to form teams that consist of three to five individuals. Team will indicate the following qualifications:
    • Team Skillsets: Team indicates that they possess computer programming, data analytics, and end user design skillsets
    • Team Multidisciplinary Expertise: Team indicates expertise in any 2 of the following areas relevant to the challenge tracks: health, analytics, social science, design, and/or engineering; and
    • Team Experience: The team indicates that they collectively have 10 years of experience in their respective fields and/or previously participated in a public or private sector sponsored Code-a-Thon
Eligible teams can submit their intent to participate here: For full details, please view the official announcement of challenge requirements and registration.

Judging Criteria

Percentage: 20
The solution takes into account user-centered design principles. The user interface is visually appealing, well laid out, intuitive, and easy to use and understand.

Potential for Impact
Percentage: 30
The solution has a clear user and positions local, state, and/or federal actors to make significant strides in advancing treatment, understanding usage, or improving prevention.

Technical Achievement
Percentage: 25
The solution addresses the primary goals of the Code-a-Thon through connecting a variety of health data sources – of which at least one is an HHS dataset – and demonstrates potential for scale and/or broader application in public health.

Percentage: 25
The solution represents a new, original idea that integrates data in an unprecedented and novel way.

How To Enter

Please see the "Rules" section to learn how to submit an intent to participate form. Participants must perform a five-minute, in-person demo and provide the following information to be eligible for further review and a prize award on December 7, 2017:
  • Team Name, Participant Names, Organization (s), and Primary Point of Contact
  • Challenge Track
  • Data Resources Utilized
  • Link to the solution
  • Written summary of the solution