Twenty years ago, the Institute of Medicine report, Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, detailed unequal health care and poorer health outcomes among African Americans compared with Whites, with some additional data on other racial and ethnic minority groups. Since then, sources of data have improved dramatically, but the disparities largely remain, and have been further illustrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. is a significant source of free and open data that can be used to investigate, illustrate and innovate around solutions that help us understand, address and respond to health inequities, disparities, and the social determinants of health.

AcademyHealth hosted this DataJam to harness the power of data and the creativity of the public to answer pressing questions related to health and health care disparities. Participants had an opportunity to transform raw data into actionable insights and digital tools to bridge disparities of health, including those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to ensure equitable access and wellness for all.

What is a DataJam?

Like a virtual hybrid of a hackathon and challenge, the 2022 Health Equity DataJam invited teams to leverage data from and other publicly available datasets to propose unique solutions or visualizations at the juncture of health equity and the social determinants of health. HHS provided the data sets and challenge questions, and AcademyHealth convened an evaluation panel to review submissions and recognize the best solutions. Winners had the opportunity to share their solutions at an AcademyHealth webinar series. Participants chose from one of the following four challenge tracks to be the focus of their proposed solution. Each track included a curated list of datasets and resources as well as potential ideas for exploration.

  1. Access to Care: How can we harness the power of data and digital innovation to lower barriers, facilitate access to care, and improve government services? 
  2. COVID-19 and Health Equity: How can we transform raw data into actionable COVID-19 insights, digital tools, or other innovations to improve outcomes and ameliorate disparities worsened by the pandemic?
  3. Kidney Care and Health Equity: How can we transform raw data into actionable insights and digital tools to bridge disparities of health related to kidney care, including prevention and those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure equitable access and wellness for all?
  4. Lyme Innovation and Health Equity: How can we address Lyme disease, and improve health equity for all tick-borne diseases, using emerging technologies that couple the power of crowd and patient insights with data?


  • March 10 - April 24, 2022: Challenge opened and AcademyHealth accepted submissions on a rolling basis
  • April 26 - 29, 2022: Judges evaluated submissions
  • May 6, 2022: Winners were notified

Award Information: 

  • Three (3) winners were publicly recognized and will have the chance to present their solutions at an AcademyHealth-hosted webinar
  • All winners received complementary registration for the 2023 Health Datapalooza and National Health Policy Conference
  • All entries that met submission requirements received a certificate acknowledging their participation in the challenge

How to Apply: This application cycle is now closed. 

How Submissions Were Evaluated:

Solutions were judged on the following criteria. Evaluators awarded each submission a value between 0-5 for each criterion. The sum of points was that individual or teams' final score.

  • Design: The solution considered user-centered design principles. The solution was visually appealing, well laid out, intuitive, and easy to use and understand.  
  • Potential for Impact: The solution had a clear user and positions local, state, and/or federal actors to make significant strides in advancing health equity.  
  • Technical Achievement: The solution addressed the primary goals of the DataJam through connecting a variety of data sources OR addressing data limitations in a novel way OR showing ways to enhance/improve existing functions or share data across agencies and more efficiently utilize existing applications.
  • Innovation: The solution represented a new, original idea that integrates data or approaches a data-related challenge in an unprecedented and novel way. 
  • Relevance: The solution was timely and specifically addressed one of the challenge topics posed by the DataJam. 

More Information About the Challenge:

Learn more about the winners and honorable mentions of the 2022 Health Equity DataJam here. For more information about this event or future AcademyHealth-hosted DataJam competitions, please email