Submissions for the 2023 Health Equity DataJam are now closed.
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.
HealthData.gov 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.
For a second year, AcademyHealth hosted the Health Equity 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 transformed raw data into actionable insights and digital tools to bridge disparities of health, including those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Long COVID, and infection-associated chronic illnesses to ensure equitable access and wellness for all.
What is a DataJam?
Like a virtual hybrid of a hackathon and challenge, the 2023 Health Equity DataJam invited teams to leverage data from healthdata.gov 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 an AcademyHealth evaluation panel reviews submissions and recognizes the best solutions. Winners have the opportunity to share their solutions at an AcademyHealth webinar series. Participants choose from one of the following six challenge tracks to be the focus of their proposed solution. Each track includes a curated list of datasets and resources as well as potential ideas for exploration.
- 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?
- Cancer Innovation: How can we leverage and transform raw data into actionable insights and digital tools to bridge disparities of health related to cancer care, including prevention to ensure equitable access and wellness for all?
- COVID-19 and Long COVID: How can we transform open data into actionable COVID-19 and Long COVID insights, digital tools, or other innovations to improve outcomes, ameliorate disparities, and improve quality of care and life?
- Infection-Associated Chronic Illnesses: How can we address infection-associated chronic illnesses—such as myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue disease (ME/CFS), Long COVID, Lyme disease, and multiple sclerosis—to improve health equity for all, using emerging technologies that couple the power of the crowd and patient insights with data?
- Kidney Diseases: How can we transform open data into actionable insights and digital tools to bridge disparities of health and improve health equity for kidney care, including the prevention and treatment of kidney damage from COVID-19 or Long COVID?
- Lyme Innovation: How can we address Lyme disease, and improve health equity for all tickborne diseases, using emerging technologies that couple the power of the crowd and patient insights with data?
- Challenge Closes (EXTENDED): Monday, May 15, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. ET
- Review period: May 2023
- Winner announcement: June 2023
- 2023 Health Equity DataJam winner webinars: Summer 2023
The 2023 Health Equity DataJam will award a single, “Grand Prize” winning solution as well as recognize a “best-in-category" winning team within each of the six (6) tracks listed above (i.e., focus areas). Each focus area, per the bulleted categories, is also on HealthData.gov with its own 2023 Health Equity DataJam webpage.
The overall winning team will receive three (3) free registrations to a 2024 AcademyHealth conference of their choice as well as complementary one-year membership in AcademyHealth membership for three (3) individuals. Each “Best-in-Class” winning team will receive a certificate.
When an overall winner is also the best-in-category, a second “best-in-category” will be selected from that focus area, so a category may recognize two teams equally as best-in-category winners.
Winners have the opportunity to share their solutions with HHS and present their solutions to the public through a 2023 Health Equity DataJam series of webinars and/or HHS Demo Day.
How Submissions Are Evaluated
Solutions will be judged on the following criteria. Judges will evaluate and score each submission with a value between 0–5 for each criterion, with zero lowest and five highest score. The sum of points will be that individual or teams’ final score.
- Design: The solution considers user-centered design principles. The solution is visually appealing, well laid out, intuitive, and easy to use and understand.
- Innovation: The solution represents a new, original idea that integrates data or approaches a data-related challenge in an unprecedented and novel way.
- Potential for Impact: The solution has a clear user and positions local, state, and/or federal actors to make significant strides in advancing health equity.
- Relevance: The solution is timely and specifically addresses one of the challenge topics posed by the DataJam.
- Technical Achievement: The solution addresses 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.
- Patient Engagement: The team includes a patient who meaningfully informs the solution development or the solution responds to a defined patient concern listed for the competition.
More Information About the Challenge
2022 Health Equity DataJam Winners and Honorable Mentions
Learn more about the 2022 winners and honorable mentions here.