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U.S. Obesity Data Challenge

About the Challenge
Use data to stem the obesity epidemic

Posted By: Department of Health and Human Services
Category: Software/Apps
Partners: Health Data Consortium, de Beaumont Foundation, UK National Health Service
Submission Dates: 9 a.m. ET, Jun 01, 2015 - 9 a.m. ET, Aug 03, 2015 Judging Dates: Aug 03, 2015 - Aug 19, 2015 Winners Announced: Sep 02, 2015

 

Calling all data enthusiasts and innovators to harness existing open health data to develop visualizations and tools for health care providers and public health officials to better tackle obesity!

All entries are due by 9 AM ET, Monday, Aug. 3, 2015

The U.S. Obesity Data Challenge is a parallel, but separate prize-based competition. Learn more about the Obesity Data Challenge led by National Health Service (NHS) England and their organizing partner, Rewired State here.

THE PROBLEM

Obesity is a common problem for the United States, U.K., and indeed for much of the developed world. Two in three adults in the U.S. and 64% of U.K. adults are overweight or obese (Ogden, 2014). But the epidemic is not limited to the developed world; about one billion adults in the developing world are overweight or obese (PHE, 2014). Obesity contributes to a host of other diseases, including increased risk of heart attack, strokes and diabetes

Societal, economic, and cultural conditions all contribute to the obesity epidemic. These factors include (but are not limited to) personal food choices, cost and access to healthful foods, individual physical activity, genetic predisposition, and other demographic and environmental risk factors.

Currently, volumes of data exist, but they aren’t always put to use for the benefit of individual patients or their communities – or, just as commonly, data are used selectively, without the full power that comes from combining data from multiple sources. Many are unaware that relevant data even exists, and few have the capability to combine or visualize data in sophisticated ways. With communities coming together to address obesity as a critical issue, it’s time to provide better tools that put these data to work.

THE CHALLENGE

Challenge participants should utilize and mash up open data to develop new data visualization tools to give communities, local health officials, patients and practitioners new means to improve population health. Winning solutions will enable public health and health care professionals to help patients and families address the obesity epidemic at a personal and community level.  Be creative with this, the sky’s the limit for your mashup.

A FEW HELPFUL  GUIDELINES:

  • The data used to develop a solution, tool, or visualization for this challenge must include at least one open data set from a U.S. government resource.
  • While your chosen datasets could be directly related to health, we are interested in seeing what you can create from cross-sector, cross-departmental data (e.g., geographic location, availability of healthy food choices, possibilities for exercise, hereditary traits of demographic populations, or personal health inputs).
  • There are a number of tools already in the marketplace that simply tracking diet or exercise, so we’re looking for more complex solutions that offer particularly new and creative approaches to supporting individuals and populations in better health incorporating multiple data points and open data sets.
  • All solutions should ensure the confidentiality of individuals.
  • Any data used should be openly available and thus conforming to information governance best practice.

A FEW DATA RESOURCES TO GET YOU STARTED:

Participants are invited to utilize other datasets not listed here.

QUESTIONS YOUR SUBMISSION MIGHT ADDRESS

  • How can data visualization tools using cross-sectional data support health care providers and local health officials in making actionable suggestions to patients and families dealing with obesity?
  • How can health care providers and local health officials share comprehensive data on community access to healthy food choices and physical activity options along with demographic variables for meaningful conversations with patients and families?
  • How are the various contributory factors to obesity related?
  • What can we learn from relationships among where we live and obesity, perhaps considering food deserts, poor access to affordable healthy foods, a dearth of public recreational activities, and socioeconomic statistics?
  • How can patients be supported through informed choices using data on community access to food and physical activity?
  • How can cross-sectional data empower patients dealing with obesity to find solutions that fit their needs?
  • Can we drive recommendations for obese populations using personal demographic inputs, known rates of obesity for those demographics, and geography specific data about rates of fast food consumption versus locations for healthy food options?
  • How can data support people to change their behaviors in ways that prevent obesity or improve their existing condition?

SUBMISSION

HOW TO ENTER:

Please submit the following items:

  • Written description of project (maximum 750 words). In your description, you must provide a description of the user need that you are meeting with your project and a description of the data sources used.
  • Link to a YouTube video demo of the app/mashup (maximum of 5 minutes in length). If authentication is required to access the video, please provide this in your submission.  We will not accept any submission without a link.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS/CHECKLIST:

  • At least one piece of open government data from a U.S. government department or agency in your project.
  • Relevant to a U.S. audience and must be in the English language only.
  • You are responsible for the cost and expense (if any) of sending your submission to us and, if your submission is selected, either attending a live demo at NHS Expo in early September 2015 in the U.K. or submitting a video of your presentation to be shared at the Expo.
  • Only one project submission is permitted per person or group. In the event of a dispute over the identity of an entrant, the submission will be deemed submitted by the authorized account holder of the email account of the email address submitted during the registration process.

Applications that do not adhere to the requirements listed above will be automatically disqualified.

EVALUATION

Judges
Ed Hunter
CEO de Beaumont Foundation
Chris Boone
CEO Health Data Consortium
Jennifer Foltz
Medical Epidemiologist, CDC
John Auerbach
Assoc. Director for Policy, CDC
Geraldine Gueron
Founder, DataDonors.org
Judging Criteria

Creativity & Innovation - 20%

Uniqueness and innovation in approach to fulfilling the mandatory requirements; the variety and value of additional features. Concept must be original, fill a gap or solve a problem in a manner that is not already available.

Evidence Base & Effectiveness - 20%

Help solve the identified problem for the patient/consumer. Concept must be anchored in medical research and clinical rationale.

Value in Health care - 20%

Concept must add value to healthcare; potential for health impact: includes the potential impact on a critical health IT or health care need. Facilitates partnerships between public health professionals, consumers and patients.

Usability - 20%

The design elements to attract, engage and influence actions from public health professionals and patients and consumers.
Address provider/patient/consumer needs
Applicable to patient/consumer’s everyday life
Easy to navigate

Functional Product - 20%

Demonstrable prototype with functionality as described in product description.

How to Enter

Go to the “Submit Solutions” tab on the left side of the challenge. You will enter data and required documents here (see rules and description). All entries must be submitted through this challenge page by Monday, Aug. 3, 2015 at 9 AM ET

Winners
First Place $20,000.00 Won by: Public Health Institute / Live Stories
Solution: Health Data+Obesity
Description: This simple, curated dashboard helps health officials tell a powerful story about the root causes of obesity. The dashboard provides customizable data visualizations at the national, state, and local level as well as an interactive map, national benchmarks, and written content to contextualize the data.
Second Place $10,000.00 Won by: RTI International
Solution: The Neighborhood Map of U.S. Obesity
Description: This highly-detailed, interactive map incorporates obesity data with a GIS database to provide localized, high-resolution obesity data. Additional data sources can also be added to the map to allow researchers and health officials greater flexibility in customizing the map to support analysis and decision-making on a community level.
Third Place $5,000.00 Won by: GeoHealth Innovations and Community Health Solutions.
Solution: The Health Demographic Analysis Tool - Visualizing The Cross-Sector Relationship Between Obesity And Social Determinants
Description: This interactive database maps the relationship between the social determinants of health (factors like educational attainment, income, and lifestyle choices) and health outcomes in order to illustrate what plays a role in community health. The powerful images generated by this tool provide compelling material for new health interventions as well as a way to look retrospectively at the impact of existing public health campaigns.
Honorable Mention $2,500.00 Won by: Auychai Suvanujasiri and Hongwei Zhang
Solution: U.S. Obesity and Healthy Living Locator
Description: This data visualization tool provides a user interface that integrates obesity data with county-level information physical activity, access to nutritional food, and socioeconomic status. Researchers are able to compare these statistics at a glance in order to inform more precisely-targeted public health interventions.
Honorable Mention (Consumer Focus) $2,500.00 Won by: HeartSmartKids
Solution: Obesity Prevention Through Conversation
Description: This app creates a template for clinicians to engage patients in productive, data-driven conversations about their health. Combining a patient risk summary with a health dashboard and discussion prompts, this tool facilitates positive, patient-centered counseling around obesity.

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Rules

RULES

To be eligible to win a prize under this challenge, an individual or entity—

(1) Shall have registered to participate in the competition under the rules promulgated by HHS, Health Data Consortium, and de Beaumont Foundation.

(2) Shall have complied with all the requirements under this section.

(3) 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.

(4) May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment.

(5) Shall not be an HHS employee working on their applications or submissions during assigned duty hours.

(7) Federal grantees may not use Federal funds to develop applications unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award.

(8) Federal contractors may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop applications or to fund efforts in support of a challenge submission.

An individual or entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual or entity used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made equitably available to all individuals and entities participating in the competition.

Entrants must agree to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from my participation in this prize contest, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.

Entrants must also agree to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to competition activities.

By submitting an entry to this competition you represent and warrant that your submission:

  • is your own work and not copied. If we have reason to believe that your submission is not your own work then we may not consider it;
  • does not contain any third party intellectual property rights and/or content that you do not have permission to use;
  • is not obscene, defamatory or in breach of any applicable legislation or regulations.

General Conditions: HHS reserves the right to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the Challenge, or any part of it, for any reason, at HHS’ sole discretion.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  • Each project must include at least one piece of open government data from a U.S. government department or agency.
  • Your application must be relevant to a U.S. audience and must be in the English language only.
  • You are responsible for the cost and expense (if any) of sending your submission to us and, if your submission is selected, either attending a live demo at NHS Expo in early September 2015 in the U.K. or submitting a video of your presentation to be shared at the Expo.
  • Only one project submission is permitted per person or group. In the event of a dispute over the identity of an entrant, the submission will be deemed submitted by the authorized account holder of the email account of the email address submitted during the registration process.

Applications that do not adhere to the requirements listed above will be automatically disqualified.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Ownership of intellectual property is determined by the following:

  • Each entrant retains title and full ownership in and to their submission.  Entrants expressly reserve all intellectual property rights not expressly granted under the Challenge agreement.
  • By participating in the Challenge, each entrant hereby irrevocably grants to Sponsor and Administrator a limited, non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide license and right to reproduce, publicly perform, publicly display, and use the Submission to the extent necessary to administer the Challenge, and to publicly perform and publicly display the Submission, including, without limitation, for advertising and promotional purposes relating to the Challenge.
  • Winners for the U.S. Obesity Data Challenge are encouraged to open source your code to the extent possible as a continuing contribution to combating obesity.
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