Go Viral to Improve Health: IOM-NAE Health Data Collegiate Challenge

Submission Deadline

Submissions are Closed


Challenge Team


  • Three teams will be recognized at the next forum of the HDI on June 9, 2011, at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.

    • First place: $3,000 prize, an on-stage live demo of their app, and an exhibit at the June 9th forum expo.
    • Second place: $2,000 prize, plus an exhibit at the forum expo.
    • Third place: $1,000 prize, plus an exhibit at the forum expo.
First Place

Team Sleep Bot

Team Members

Edison Wang, Jane Zhu, Kevin Tulod, William Qiao,
Second Place

Team Freebee

Team Members

Jennifer Burkmier, Christopher Workman, Jane Lackson, Louis Tse, Ramya Baratam,
Third Place

Team IMPAct

Team Members

Tania Lyon, Taylor Barker, Edgar Sanchez, Eric Kern, Jennifer Jost


The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) of the National Academies invite college and university students to participate in an exciting, new initiative to transform health data into effective, innovative new applications (apps) that take on the nation’s pressing health issues. With reams of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) data and other health data newly available as part of the Health Data Initiative, students have an unprecedented opportunity to create interactive apps and other tools that engage and empower people in ways that lead to better health. Working in interdisciplinary teams that meld technological skills with health knowledge, the IOM and NAE believe that college students can generate exciting and powerful new products -- the next “viral app” -- that could lead to real changes in individuals’ and communities’ well-being.

Register your team here by Friday, April 22, 2011, so that we can confirm your team's eligibility! Eligible teams will be contacted by email with a link to submit; submissions must be received by April 27, 2011 at 9pm PDT.


The Health Indicators Warehouse – developed by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – is a collaboration of many Agencies and Offices within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The first version of the Health Indicators Warehouse, launched in February 2011, contains the following content and functionalities:

  • Pre-constructed national, state, and local level indicators including:
    • Healthy People 2020 indicators
    • County Health Rankings indicators
    • Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) indicators
    • Medicare quality and utilization indicators
  • Ability to map, chart, graph, and trend indicators (to the extent data allow)
  • Links from indicators to evidence-based interventions
  • Web services—peer-to-peer/business application capability
  • Supporting descriptive indicator definitions, methods, data sources and other descriptive data needed to facilitate appropriate use of indicators

Issue to be solved
Using social networking, mobile apps, and other new technologies, how can the power of health data be unleashed to increase the awareness of health problems and inspire positive action at the community level?

Take the Challenge!

  1. Identify a health problem (e.g., smoking, obesity, vaccination rates, health disparities, mental health, access to care, palliative care) in your college’s or university’s surrounding community.
  2. Assemble an interdisciplinary student team to create an app or other product using data from the HHS Health Indicators Warehouse and other sources (e.g., including crowdsourcing methods).
  3. Demonstrate how your solution could engage people in your community to promote action that will improve their health and healthcare.

Review Panel

    • Judges will be leaders from the engineering, health and technology communities.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Integration of Health Data
  • Design and Usability
    • Each submission will be rated on its user-friendliness and interactive capabilities.
    • Preference will be given to applications that are easily accessible to a range of consumers and on a variety of platforms.
    • Web-based, mobile, and SMS texting platforms are encouraged.
  • Creativity and Innovation
    • Each submission will be rated for the degree of new thinking it brings to applications for health, and the creativity shown in designing for impact.
  • Potential for Impact
    • Each submission will be rated on the strength of its potential to improve health status for individuals and/or the community.

Participating Teams

Standing Tall
Human Fitness Project
The Appstarts
Blue Devils
The Flaming Sun Devils
Green Team
Anjna Patient Education
SNAP Health
Health-Y-ellow jackets
University of Chicago Health Collaborative
Med Geeks
Teen Help Project
Invincible Youth
Semantic Community
MoBlue Tech

Terms & Conditions

The following terms and conditions govern the submission of a technology product by a student team (“Team”) to the Go Viral to Improve Health: IOM-NAE Health Data Collegiate Challenge (the “Challenge”) sponsored by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering ("the Sponsors").


  • The Challenge is open only to teams comprised of current students, 18 years of age or older, currently enrolled in a United States college or university.
  • A team must include at least 2 people. There may be no more than 5 people on a team.
  • A team must be interdisciplinary.
    • At least one team member must be from a computer science, engineering, or similar school, program, or major.
    • At least one team member must be from a medical, nursing, public health dental, pharmacy, allied health or similar school, program or major.
  • Colleges and universities may have several teams; however a student may only be a part of one team.
  • The Challenge is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. A team may include both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Teams are encouraged to consult with a faculty advisor as they develop their strategy for the application, however the majority of the work should be developed by the students.


  • The Sponsors have the absolute discretion to make all decisions related to eligibility, the development, management, implementation and evaluation of the technology product submitted as an entry to the challenge.


  • All Challenge entries must be received by Wednesday, April 27, 2011, at 9:00 p.m. (PDT).
  • Once an entry is submitted, a team is prohibited from making any changes or alterations to the technology product described in its submission until the evaluation of the entries is completed. The approximate date for completing the evaluation is May 13, 2011. This date may be extended in the sole discretion of the Sponsors.


  • The technology product submitted will consist of either a website app or a mobile app.
    • If a web app, a link to the website created must be entered into the “Web Site” field on the Team Application Form.
    • If a mobile app, a link to an emulator or video of the app’s capabilities and functionality must be entered into the “Web Site” field on the Team application form.
  • A PowerPoint presentation describing the web or mobile app must be uploaded to the Team Application Form and accompany the submitted entry.
  • Submitted entries must be web and/or mobile applications and must be hosted on a server selected by the team. Please note that server space is not provided by the Sponsors or by Health 2.0.
  • In addition to the required use of data from the Health Indicators Warehouse (HIW), the use of other publicly available data sets is strongly encouraged.


  • By submitting a technology product as an entry in response to this Challenge, each team and each team member represents and warrants that:
    • The team and its members are the sole authors, creators, and owners of the technology product submitted as an entry;
    • None of the intellectual property rights in the technology product, or any portion thereof, submitted in the entry has been assigned or transferred to anyone that is not a member of the team;
    • The technology product, through its creation and its submission as an entry, does not violate any applicable laws;
    • The technology product, through its creation and its submission as an entry, does not infringe upon or violate intellectual property rights held by any third person or party;
    • The technology product submitted as an entry comply with appropriate policies, procedures and protections for access to relevant data sets to ensure all privacy requirements, intellectual property considerations, and sponsor restrictions are met; and
    • The use of any data in the technology product submitted as an entry will not allow the identification of an individual human subject.
  • By submitting an entry in response to this Challenge, each team and each team member agrees to:
    • Comply with and be bound by the official rules and decisions of the sponsors;
    • Release and hold harmless the sponsors, its officers, its employees, and agents (including but not limited to, any judges or evaluators of the entries) from any claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to infringement of copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property rights, property damage, or death or personal injury arising out of or relating to the Challenge; and,
    • Indemnify, defend and hold harmless the sponsors from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities arising from or relating to participation in the Challenge.


  • By submitting an entry, any team selected as a winner consents to licensing and distribution of the technology product free of charge to the public for one year following the public announcement of the winners of the Challenge.
  • For the purpose of showcasing the interdisciplinary use of health data and technology to create interactive apps and other tools that lead to better health, the winning teams and each member grant the sponsors royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide license to use and display publicly the submitted materials for a period of one year after the public announcement of the winners of the Challenge.


  • The sponsors and judges are not responsible for:
    • Any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by teams, data sources, Challenge administrators, printing errors, equipment failures or programming problems associated with this Challenge;
    • Technical failures, including, but not limited to, disconnections in network hardware, software, or phone lines, interruptions, or other malfunctions;
    • Unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Challenge,
    • Technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Challenge or the processing of entries; or
    • Any injury to person or damage to property which may be caused by participating in the Challenge, including but not limited to, receipt or use of any award.

Register your team here.  Eligible teams will be contacted by email with a link to submit.

About the Institute of Medicine

The Institute of Medicine serves as adviser to the nation to improve health.  Established in 1970 as the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine is a nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public.

About the National Academy of Engineering

The National Academy of Engineering provides guidance to the government on the application of engineering to social, economic, and security problems, and sponsors programs aimed at meeting national needs.  The members of the academy consist of the nation's premier engineers, elected by their peers for seminal contributions to engineering.