“Go Viral to Improve Health” challenge for interdisciplinary teams

Todd Vandenbark

logo for Go Viral challengeThe Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering is sponsoring its Second Annual Health Data Collegiate Challenge. This year’s theme is “Go Viral to Improve Health.”

Interdisciplinary teams of graduate or undergraduate students can win a portion of $18,000 in prize money for creating ”effective, innovative apps that take on the nation’s pressing health issues” utilizing existing DHHS health data to “engage and empower people in ways that lead to better health:”

The Challenge

With an abundance of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) data and other health data available as part of the Health Data Initiative (HDI), 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” apps – to improve health for communities and individuals.

To “Go Viral To Improve Health”:

  • Identify a health problem in your college’s surrounding community
  • Assemble an interdisciplinary student team
  • Develop an app using data from the HHS Health Indicators Warehouse and other data sources
  • Demonstrate how your solution will engage people in your community to promote action that will improve their health

Details are available at the Institute of Medicine website, and groups wishing to promote this challenge can download and print a flyer.

If you were part of such a team, what would you design? How would you use an app to address a pressing community health problem? Tell us!