Welcome to HealthData.gov!

Welcome to HealthData.gov – an exciting new community on Data.gov!  HealthData.gov is a one-stop resource for the growing ecosystem of innovators who are turning data into new applications, services, and insights that can help improve health.

Here’s what you can do on HealthData.gov: 

Get free health-related data (and lots of it).  Under “Data/Tools,” you can access a comprehensive catalog of health-related data sets available on Data.gov – relevant to all aspects of health, for a broad array of users, supplied by a wide range of federal agencies, and available for free.  You can use the enhanced, health-specific categorization and search functions to find the data sets in which you are most interested, and view them, download them or access them via application programming interfaces (APIs).  We’ll continue to add new government data sets frequently and update older ones – stay tuned for continual action on this front, with the help of our listserve, Twitter, and RSS feeds!  In addition, check out “Other Data Sites” for a growing list of links to non-federal health data sources that can be valuable aids to your work.

Check out what innovators are doing with health-related data.  In response to popular demand, HealthData.gov also links you to a brand new “Health Apps Expo,” hosted and managed by the private sector innovation experts at Health 2.0.  The Apps Expo shows an expanding array of examples of what innovators have done with health-related data – applications and uses that help consumers, providers, employers, communities, policymakers and others make better-informed decisions and improve health.  Get inspired by what other folks have done, and post an entry about your own super cool app!    

Connect to other innovators. In HealthData.gov’s blogs and forums, catch up on the latest happenings in the health data community.  Rate and rank data sets, open threads of conversation about them, point out what you like and don’t like about them, request new data, and talk about how the data can best be used.  Link to current app development competitions on Challenge.gov and Health2Challenge.org – contests to develop the best health apps that fulfill a variety of missions… and throw your hat into the ring!              

We are very hopeful that HealthData.gov will be a useful resource for anyone who’s interested in harnessing the power of data to help improve health and create value.  And we’ll be listening closely to your suggestions about how we can make HealthData.gov better and better as time goes on.  Welcome again, and very much looking forward to the path ahead!        

Todd Park
Chief Technology Officer, HHS

13 Responses to “Welcome to HealthData.gov!”

  1. ngross@doximity.com

    Todd, Greg, Aman and the HealthData.gov team,

    Congratulations on launching what could prove to be the backbone for some of the greatest health inventions of this decade.

    Doximity is a physician network and communication platform built in part on this data. Like NASA advancements cultivated innovation across numerous industries, we believe that public-private collaboration around open health data will transform 21st century patient care.

    We look forward to being an active member of the healthdata.gov community.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Tangney & Nate Gross
    Doximity

  2. SDowns@rwjf.org

    Todd — congrats — it’s great to see this launch.  What’s exciting to me is that you and your team have recognized that for data to lead to improvements in health, the data must lead to action.  And for the data to lead to action, you need tools — tools that help community leaders understand their assets and the challenges they must take on, tools that help advocates make their case and build support and tools that help the public understand what it means to live in a healthy community.  And by designing this site to cater to developers and to serve as a key node in a broad ecosystem of data, developers, tools, users and researchers, you’ve given it the potential to catalyze a lot of action.

    This work on open health data has inspired us at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to think about how we can make the County Health Rankings (the data for which can be found on your site) available in ways that similarly encourage developers.  Stay tuned — the 2011 County Health Rankings are coming out March 30 and over the course of the year we’ll be launching new features that we hope will make the data even more useful.

    Finally — a friendly suggestion:  why not offer users a clear and simple way to identify data sets currently not available that they’d like to see on healthdata.gov?

  3. Bob_Kocher@mckinsey.com

    The launch of HealthData.gov is a major milestone towards a health system that uses data to improve health, patient care, patient choices, competition, and create economic value.  Unleashing what has until now been hard to access health data will set off a torrent of investment, lead to new companies and new jobs, new tools, and enable far more transparency.  Together, these things all lead to a better health system for patients.  It is none too soon that healthcare move down the path of a range of other industries that has leveraged technological and data improvements to improve productivity, increase competition, create innovative products, enhance the customer experience, and achieve better financial performance.  HealthData.gov, and the new datasets HHS is releasing today and over the next four years as a result of the Affordable Care Act, is a major step towards putting the healthcare industry on a similar trajectory.  

    By making public data public, easily accessible, and useable without IP constraints developers, researchers, healthcare organizations, public health officials, and others will be able to ask and answer questions that in the past would have been very costly and time consuming, and combine this data with other data sets to improve insight.  A marketplace will emerge based on products derived from this data.  This market will grow and a virtuous cycle will emerge as demand grows for more data and more tools derived from data.  Undoubtedly, software developers and entrepreneurs will put this data to work to make new products and tools and to improve existing ones.

    People should pay close attention – the pace of progress has accelerated with this bolus of data.  HealthData.gov, together with the efforts of the IOM Health Data Initiative and Health2.0, represent a data community and movement of tremendous potential.  We should all look forward to a future better health system empowered by more, more timely and more granular data.  

    Bob Kocher, MD
    Director of the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Engleberg Center for Health Reform at Brookings.

  4. lisa.simpson@academyhealth.org

    Dear Todd and team,

    Congratulations on the launch of this incredible resource! I’m sure it will prove useful for the research community, and also for the many other stakeholders – patients, application developers, clinicians – engaged in the health care space.  As the professional society for researchers and policymakers who study the health system, AcademyHealth is excited about the many opportunities these data present for unleashing innovation and discovery, ultimately improving health and healthcare. 

    AcademyHealth has long advocated for greater data transparency and access, so we are very encouraged by the development of resources such as this that support our members as they strive to uncover actionable, practice- and policy-relevant solutions to some of our nation’s most challenging health care issues.

    We look forward to engaging our membership in the use and continuous improvement of this fabulous new resource.  We also are excited to work with new partners to uncover new knowledge that changes and improves the way we deliver care. And as we learn and innovate, we will be sure to share our experiences with you so that you can include those stories in your wildly informative and entertaining talks about “data liberaciĆ³n.”  Thanks Todd!  

    Lisa Simpson, M.B. B.Ch., MPH, FAAP
    President and CEO
    AcademyHealth

  5. valbrown@aol.com

    In my time of public service, I found that one of the most important aspects of my responsibility to the people of Sonoma County was to deliver the facts about where we are today and what we need to do to create a sustainable future.,

    In Sonoma County, we deal with many challenging and complex issues involving the health of our community. Together, we have been able to leverage data, analytic tools, and information sources on effective practices in unprecedented ways.  One of the key elements of our strategy to improve community health has been through the use of the Network of Care – Healthy Communities resource.  This information wellspring is a powerful vehicle for change through its ability to integrate many aspects of information about health and government services in a simple, easy to use platform.  It allows decision makers to create programs that achieve success, by reducing obesity in children and diabetes in adults.

    The use of the internet and social network tools is a powerful force for community action and improvement. Healthdata.gov has captured the ability to utilize existing data and knowledge to motivate and support healthy living as a dominant force for change in all communities in America.

    I am personally thrilled to find the new capabilities and information sources provided by Healthdata.gov. Personal experience in our community using data has shown me how understanding the problem promotes action. I encourage all civic leaders and concerned citizens to take a moment and understand the power of data through Healthdata.gov

    Valerie Brown
    Supervisor, First District
    Past President of National Association of Counties
    Sonoma County,  California

  6. Peter.neupert@microsoft.com

    Health more than most industries is all about information – getting the right information to the right person at the right time. To accomplish this, we need to ‘liberate’ health data from the disconnected systems where it currently resides – making information available from across the health system so that individuals and organizations can engage with the data and use it in meaningful ways. The federal government spends billions of dollars a year compiling information on smoking rates, obesity rates, hospital readmissions, hospital quality, etc. It’s exciting to see the government supporting the idea of data liberation by making this information more accessible to individuals and organizations. At Microsoft, we’ve used thedata to create new options for users of products such asMicrosoft Amalga and Bing, and we look forward to continuing to leverage government data to add value for our customers and to inform decision-makers — consumers, patients, providers, employers, government officials — to help them make the right decisions at the right time, to maximize health and well-being.

    Peter Neupert, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Health Solutions Group

  7. Aneesh_Chopra@omb.eop.gov

    An important policy lever to advance the President's agenda for out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building our economic competitors is the power to convene an ecosystem around our biggest policy challenges. Today's launch of healthdata.gov marks an important milestone in seeding a health ecosystem that will surely lead to advances in public health as well as startups that will harness open data in new and creative ways to drive greater value for our healthcare investment.

    Aneesh Chopra
    Chief Technology Officer of the United States

  8. Edward.Sondik@hhs.gov

    I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about the extent – the breadth and depth of health-related data – but the Healthdata.gov is eye-opening.  I see this portal as literally that – an entrance to a much more extensive, varied, innovative, and, in many ways, challenging world of quantitative and qualitative information on health.  I think it will cause us to consider what we mean by good data, by stable data, and (I hope) by what type and quality of data we need for various decisions.   And above all it’ll be useful!

    Perhaps the best way to explore the site is to dive in– and I did – but I’d like a guide—perhaps interactive –to help along the way and explain just what the Health Indicators Warehouse will do for me (that I know, of course since my colleagues at NCHS developed the warehouse), how to access the applications and how to sort through them.  

    The links to Other data sites and the Forum are great ideas…The Other data sites in particular provides ready reference to data that can be extremely valuable – data that are already being used..  

    Under the Forum I would love to see a discussion start on the development and use of summary health measures … I have some strong biases in this direction.  It would also be interesting to see a tracking of key (or perhaps not so key) activities  underway like the NCVHS focus on community health data ( or NCVHS in general for that matter) on NCHS, on the IOM and it’s data use activities, hearings etc.

    I’d also love to see technical reference material on how one can learn more on automated data feeds and how to use them….

    It’ll be fascinating too to have healthdata.gov users report on their use of the site…And very helpful to me in NCHS on what they see as the needs well met, not so well met and not met on the Federal data side. 

    One other thought would be feedback from users on how they have met the challenge of data on smaller populations or geographical areas – always a challenge.  

    Congratulations to all on this new portal.

    Ed

    Edward J Sondik
    Director
    The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
    CDC/HHS

  9. alex.fishman-inv@reisys.com

    We love data, thanks!
     
    Todd, we’re really excited to see this new data and we are firm supporters of your campaign for data liberacion. As technologists, we look forward to making use of this valuable data ourselves and helping other important enterprises make use of it. When we participated in the Community Health Data Initiative, the concept of open health data was just beginning and it’s great to see how far you all have advanced the state of the art. As a standalone resource, and one that can provide context in other settings, data.gov/health will help patients, policymakers, and public health officials make important decisions about individual and community health.
     
    Alex Fishman and Melody Hildebrandt
    Forward Deployed Engineers
    Palantir Technologies

  10. wkvet1968@live.com

    The VA has started the on line health care progress notes, as a VIetnam veteran, it shows that something is starting to happen, where all Americans that have used any health care may soon be able to know what the doctors and nurses wrote.  I know the VA system is far from perfect, but it's a start!

  11. daniel@pureseo.co.nz

    Congratulations and thanks on launching Health Data card. Will be very useful.

    Regards,

    Baycare Dental Center Auckland

  12. Anonymous

    Simply want to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity in your post is simply excellent and i can assume you're an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  13. Denise

    Hi,

    I’m the innovator described in the 2nd sentence of the Welcome to HealthData.gov! page submitted by Todd on 2/14/2011.

    I would like to have access to the datasets for potential product development.

Comments are closed.