AcademyHealth is pleased to announce three winners and three honorable mentions in the 2022 Health Equity DataJam, an effort to harness the power of data and the creativity of the public to answer pressing questions related to health and health care disparities.
AcademyHealth is grateful to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the HealthData.gov team for providing the data sets and challenge questions to support this DataJam.
“Data sharing and collaboration are happening at a faster pace than ever before,” said, AcademyHealth President and CEO, Dr. Lisa Simpson. “The 2022 Health Equity DataJam winners demonstrate the myriad ways that making government data open to the public, easily discoverable, and machine-readable helps fuel new business models, scientific advancements, and collaborative innovation.”
For the 2022 Health Equity DataJam, all entries were required to leverage a combination of data hosted by HealthData.gov and other publicly available sources to create innovative digital tools and actionable insights to help close the gaps in health and health care and ensure equitable access and wellness for all. Participants chose from one of four challenge tracts that included Access to Care, COVID-19 and Health Equity, Kidney Care and Health Equity, and Lyme Innovation and Health Equity. The winners (listed below) were recognized for their design, technical achievement, innovation, relevance, and potential for impact. They include:
- Clyme Health, submitted by Sunjya Schweig, M.D. – a Lyme symptom and treatment tracking database, mapped against disability data sets, and designed with the intent to eventually overlay various aspects of environmental data such as weather and air pollution, to look for triggers and variables that affect those living with chronic illness. Clyme Health featured as part of a previous HHS Data Sprint and demonstrates the enormous potential for these efforts to see effective and commercially viable products for the public good.
- Community Connector, submitted by Mathematica – an interactive tool to integrate a variety of federal, state, and local data sources relevant to social determinants of health (SDoH) in the state of Colorado. The resulting data set and visualizations can be used to identify communities that have had success in addressing social needs and improving health and wellbeing. The tool helps users understand and explore community differences and similarities and provides further resources and opportunities for communities to use SDoH data when identifying intervention opportunities. In addition to expanding nationally and across health care outcomes, the Community Connector could potentially allow localities to customize their search for similar counties by uploading their own county-level data to the tool.
- Journey of Veterans, submitted by Isra Sunhachawi, Elastic – uses presentation-style visuals along with interactive maps and dashboards to depict the journey of a veteran from pre-enlistment to retirement. The tool distills data into useful nuggets to help service members make informed decisions and includes data on income, housing prices by state, and lender loan statistics as well as health care statistics such as average appointment wait times, prescription drug costs, and patient satisfaction at different medical facilities. This tool also leverages Natural Language Processing to provide semantic searches on a sample health care system’s FAQ dataset. The tool was unique in its focus on Veteran populations, and innovative in its concept and execution.
As the professional home for health services and health policy researchers, and the host of the Health Datapalooza, AcademyHealth is committed to the ongoing development of innovative research methods, enhanced access to and appropriate use of data, and the application of evidence to improve health care decision making. All three winners will be invited to present their solutions and approaches at an AcademyHealth-hosted webinar to maximize the impact of the 2022 Health Equity DataJam and provide additional professional development and training for the field. All winners will also receive complementary registration for the 2023 Health Datapalooza.
Given the large number of competitive entries, AcademyHealth also recognized three Honorable Mentions, who will be invited to participate in future webinars expounding upon their work. They include:
- Project Data Sphere, submitted by RTI International – a research platform that provides broad access to both de-identified patient-level data from oncology clinical trials and related analytic tools, such as linking the data to other SDOH data sets to enable more targeted analyses and designed to examine questions such as how disparities in cancer patients’ access to health care and income impact patient outcomes.
- Health Equity Assessment Review Solution (HEARS),submitted by the Lewin Group – an interactive data visualization and analytic tool that can help state, county, and local agencies drive actionable care delivery programs and effective intervention processes for their communities to help improve health equity. HEARS uses publicly available data to understand the health care access and quality of care for the vulnerable populations susceptible to higher health risks and disease burden.
- COVID-19 Detection in Wastewater, submitted by Improvix Technologies – this project combines wastewater, hospital capacity, and poverty data to predict hospitalization levels and provide an early alert system for county-level decision makers. As more counties continue to input data, the tool can be used by decision makers to ensure that hospitals have the needed resources to handle an anticipated increase of COVID cases.
Taken together, the entries, honorable mentions, and winners of the 2022 Health Equity DataJam demonstrate the enormous potential of public-private collaboration to accelerate innovation that improves health and bridges disparities. Additionally, the submitted solutions highlight the potential these collaborations can have for transforming raw, disparate data sources into actionable solutions that can be used by other researchers, policymakers, public health officials, and health systems leaders.
As the scientific innovation and health data fields continue to grow, AcademyHealth is excited to continue to support future data releases and solution-focused events. Stay tuned for information about future DataJam events and challenges!