New York Announces Open-Data Challenge Winners

The New York State Department of Health has announced the winners of its inaugural New York State Health Innovation Challenge, a four-month contest among tech companies vying to create the most useful technological tool to help consumers make sense of health data. The contest is a public-private partnership that builds upon New York’s open data initiative– multidisciplinary teams of coders and developers were invited to create tech-based solutions to help consumers access useful information about the quality, cost, and efficiency of health care services. Earning first place honors and $30,000 is DocSpot, a website which seeks to simplify consumers’ decision making by weaving numerous publicly available data sets into one unified interface. Lauded by the judges for its clarity and simplicity, DocSpot utilizes data from Health Data NY,Data.Medicare.gov, state medical boards, hospital and clinic physician directories, and reviews from the web, giving users the ability to compare providers using a variety of metrics. Taking home the $10,000 second place prize was HealthRank. This application enables patients to manage their own care by providing them with the ability to prioritize among cost, quality, and access on a five-point scale from ‘Not Important’ to ‘Very Important.’ The $3,000 third place prize was awarded to NaviNet which utilizes Google Maps to pinpoint hospitals that treat a particular condition or provide a specific service. The New York State Health Innovation Challenge was a collaboration of the New York State Health Foundation, Health Research Incorporated, New York State Department of Health and New York State Office of Information Technology Services, with funding provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. All of the winning presentations have been posted to www.health2con.com.