Calling all civic hackers, use data to connect Public Health and Primary Care!


Do you remember the multiple choice logic questions where the trick answer was “not enough information to solve”? Primary care providers and public health officials often experience this conundrum in their line of work. Ironically, the data often exists – but is compartmentalized and inaccessible so that neither of these potential partners can connect the dots in ways that can benefit patients and communities. These groups have a shared interest in improving population health. By working together, they can fill the knowledge gaps and be empowered to create effective interventions.

Primary care providers work in environments rich with data that can be used to better understand the health of the local community. Public health professionals, supported by accurate data, can improve the health of local communities and support the work of primary care providers. Similarly, clinicians can treat an individual, but any community considerations are limited by a lack of social, neighborhood, and other relevant information that could be available when working with an individual patient. By working together, these groups can exchange useful data and develop strategies to improve the health of all Americans.

The Closing the Data Divide Challenge seeks technology-based solutions that facilitate the exchange of data and foster collaboration between primary care providers and public health professionals. This challenge, sponsored by the de Beaumont foundation, is an effort to develop new ways to support data exchange between public health professionals and primary care providers. Teams have until December 7, 2015 to submit their solutions and will compete for their share of $60,000 in total prizes.

This is an opportunity to develop technology to improve the infrastructure of healthcare and create tremendous positive impact at a local level in communities across the country. To learn more about the challenge and submit your solution, visit our website.

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