Enabling Community Use of Data for Cancer Prevention and Control

Submission Deadline

Submissions are Closed


Challenge Team

First Place


Team Members

Charlene Caburnay, Balaji Golla, Chris Casey, Erin Robinson, Kristy Guttmann, Matt Kreuter, Sajana Thomas


Using data available through the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) and their partners, develop prototype web and/or mobile communication technology applications to enable communities’ use of population data for cancer prevention and control. Examples include mashups, visualizations, and reporting mechanisms for health-related data (e.g., dietary, physical activity, smoking) and other types of data (e.g., environmental, geographic).

The NCI’s PopSciGrid Community Health Information Portal, which supports transparency, scientific collaboration, and community participation in cancer prevention and control, provides one example of the kinds of applications that are encouraged for this challenge.  Based on a conceptual framework for cyber-enabled collection, harmonization, and analysis of population health data, the PopSciGrid Portal shows how disparate cancer-related data can be integrated, visualized, and communicated to engage and empower communities and public health decision-makers. Keep in mind this is just one example that serves as a jumping-off point for inspiration to develop your applications. Remember that creativity is welcome and encouraged!

For this challenge, we are calling for entrepreneurs, developers, and health scientists to develop creative, innovative and engaging applications that build upon the behavioral and communication science evidence-base to deliver population health data to communities for cancer prevention and control activities.  Multidisciplinary teams to represent technical and scientific expertise are encouraged. Data from DCCPS resources may be used alone or in combination with other available data resources to better inform cancer prevention and control for consumers, providers, researchers, and policymakers.

Successful applications may:

  • Develop innovative approaches for data harmonization, aggregation and/or data visualization to enable real time access to cancer-related data.
  • Develop novel analytic techniques or tools to improve the reliability and utility of data from multiple sources (e.g., behavioral / social science, biomedical, census/demographic, economic) and to facilitate data availability.
  • Promote apomediation of cancer data between public health entities and communities.
  • Integrate and enable analysis of cancer data at multiple levels of abstraction using advanced computational methods, such as statistical modeling of cancer prevention and control interventions and their effects on population trends in cancer burden (see http://cisnet.cancer.gov/ for examples).
  • Harmonize multiple datasets (e.g., behavioral, biomedical, clinical health records, policy…) on NCI’s cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG®) using appropriate data standards and protocols.

We encourage the development of web-based tools or applications to integrate cancer-relevant data from one or more of the following data resources with data available through the Community Health Data Initiative:
Data sets made available for this challenge:

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a state-based system of health surveys that collects information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access primarily related to chronic disease and injury.
  • National Health Interview Survey - Cancer Control Topical Module: The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is an annual national survey of U.S. households conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics to track population determinants of and trends in use of cancer screening tests and participation in cancer prevention behavior.
  • Health Information National Trends Survey: The Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) collects nationally representative data on U.S. adults’ knowledge about cancer, cancer communication experiences, health information seeking, and cancer-related behaviors.
  • National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) collects data through interview and physical examination on the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the U.S.
  • SEER-Medicare Datasets: The SEER-Medicare datasets link clinical SEER registry data to Medicare claims.
  • Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program: The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program collects cancer incidence and survival data from population-based cancer registries in the U.S.
  • Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey: The Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS), sponsored by the NCI, collects national and state level data on tobacco use in the U.S.

Other relevant data resources include the following:

  • Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium: The Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium provides data relevant to the biology of breast cancer and the delivery and quality of breast cancer screening.
  • California Health Interview Survey: The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) collects population-based, health-related data from households in California.
  • Cancer Genetics Network: The Cancer Genetics Network (CGN) provides data on the genetic basis cancer susceptibility in humans
  • Cancer Survivor Prevalence Data: Cancer Survivor Prevalence Data draws on Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registry data to provide survival prevalence estimates representing five U.S. states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, New Mexico, and Utah), and four standard metropolitan statistical areas (Atlanta, Detroit, San Francisco-Oakland, and Seattle-Puget Sound).
  • Geographic Information System for Breast Cancer Studies on Long Island: The Geographic Information System for Breast Cancer Studies on Long Island (LI GIS) is a unique tool that enables investigators to examine potential relationships between breast cancer risk and environmental exposures.
  • HMO Cancer Research Network (CRN): The HMO Cancer Research Network (CRN) provides cancer-relevant, clinical data including data on behavioral risk factors, cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and long-term care.


Participating Teams

Ringful Health