HHS and IOM Launch Community Health Data Initiative



The Department of Health and Human Services and the Institute of Medicine have joined their efforts in aiming to provide “a wealth of new community health data that will drive innovation and lead to the creation of new applications and tools to improve the health of Americans”. The HHS hopes to utilize public health data productively to inform Americans on their own health and the health of their environment and community.

One aspect of the initiative is to increase the use of present and upcoming technology to educate the public and make them  more aware of existing health information.  The following are potential applications:

  • “Interactive health maps on the web that allow citizens to understand health performance in their area vs. others with tremendous ease and clarity
  • “Dashboards” that enable mayors and other civic leaders to track and publicize local health performance and issues
  • Social networking applications that allow health improvement leaders to connect with each other, compare performance, share best practices, and challenge each other
  • Competitions regarding how communities can innovate to improve health performance
  • Viral online games that help educate people about community health
  • Utilization of community health data to help improve the usefulness of results delivered by web search engines when people do health-related searches and further raise awareness of community health performance
  • Integration of community health-related data into new venues, such as real estate websites, which could be highly effective disseminators of such information”

    (Department of Health and Human Services)

For more information, click here for the Community Health Data Initiative website.

Information taken directly from:
The Department of Health and Human Services
(http://www.hhs.gov/open/datasets/about.html)

Pictures taken from:
Department of Health and Human Services (http://www.hhs.gov/)
Institute of Medicine (http://www.iom.edu/)

Gretchen Grajo, VERTICES intern

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