Today at the 2019 Health Datapalooza AcademyHealth, the Aetna Foundation, and U.S. News & World Report announced the three finalists of the Healthiest Communities Data Challenge.

The Healthiest Communities Data Challenge provides a platform for multi-sector teams to offer ideas and/or inspiration on how to leverage the available data in the Healthiest Communities rankings, a collaboration between the Aetna Foundation and U.S. News & World Report.

The primary objective of the challenge is to accelerate progress towards building healthy communities, by identifying information signals and gaps that can be used to design and implement community level interventions that drive better health outcomes, with additional goals of encouraging innovation and new ideas in the health data community. 

“The 10th Anniversary Health Datapalooza is the perfect place to recognize these challenge finalists  given our milestone celebration of the accomplishments of the data liberation movement combined with a collective desire to broaden the use of health data to improve outcomes at the community level,” said AcademyHealth President and CEO Dr. Lisa Simpson.

Selected from a pool of 30 entries, the three finalists were notable in their ability to integrate data across multiple sources, creativity of their approach to address key health care issues, and use of data visualization.

  • OnlyBoth applied its benchmarking and evaluation analytic engines to the rankings datafile, augmented by external data on county populations. The resulting product uncovers comparative insights across counties, which may be used to promote awareness and drive action by the public, local government, or community advocates.
  • Making Data Actionable for Learning Health Systems linked data from the Healthiest Communities rankings with data from Community Health Needs Assessments in Baltimore City to add additional perspectives on community health and social needs and actions already underway to address them.
  • WellBearing, an open-source, open-access visualization interface, is designed to reveal patterns and explore potential drivers of disparate health outcomes. The interface is centered on a map of the United States upon which a user can visualize more than 100 health metrics across eight categories from the Healthiest Communities rankings.

“We were impressed with the quality of entries from the three finalists and appreciate everyone who took the time to participate,” said Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation. “The entries exceeded our expectations for the Data Challenge, which was to identify innovative ways for communities to engage with the data and use it to inform actions that can be taken to address factors impacting the overall health and well-being of their residents.”

In addition to their recognition during the Health Datapalooza, the three finalists will receive a cash prize to assist in advancing their proposed innovations.

Lauren Adams

Lauren Adams, M.A.

Senior Director of Communications and Marketing - AcademyHealth

Lauren Adams, M.A., is senior director of communications and marketing at AcademyHealth, where she oversees th... Read Bio

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