Finalists Announced at Datapalooza

The “Healthiest Communities Data Challenge” finalists were announced at the 2019 Health Datapalooza AcademyHealth sponsored by the Aetna Foundation, and U.S News & World Report

The Healthiest Communities Data Challenge provided a platform for multi-sector teams to offer ideas and/or inspiration on how to leverage the available data found in the Healthiest Communities rankings, a collaboration between the Aetna Foundation, and U.S News & World Report.

The primary objective of the challenge is to accelerate progress towards building healthy communities by identifying information signals and gaps that can be used to design and implement community level interventions to drive better health outcomes, plus encourage innovation and new ideas in the health data community. Finalists created tools for comparative insights across counties, combined data for fuller pictures of community health, and used data visualization to reveal disparate health outcomes.

“The 2019 Health Datapalooza is the perfect place to recognize these challenge finalists given our milestone celebration of the accomplishments of the data liberation movement. Also, there is a collective desire to broaden the use of health data to improve outcomes at the community level,” said AcademyHealth President and CEO Dr. Lisa Simpson.

The three finalists selected from a pool of 30 entries able to integrate data across multiple sources and use creativity to address key healthcare issues include:

  • OnlyBoth applied their benchmarking and evaluation analytic engines to the rankings data file, augmented by external data on county populations. The resulting product uncovers comparative insights across counties, which may be used to promote awareness and drive action by the public, local government, or community advocates
  • Making Data Actionable for Learning Health Systems linked data from the Healthiest Communities rankings along with data from Community Health Needs Assessments in Baltimore City to add additional perspectives on community health, social needs, and actions already underway to address them
  • WellBearing an open-source, open access visualization interface is designed to reveal patterns and explore potential drivers of disparate health outcomes. The interface is centered on a map of the U.S where users can visualize more than 100 health metrics across eight categories from the healthiest Communities rankings


Dr. Garth Graham President of the Aetna Foundation, reports, “The entries exceeded their expectations for the Data Challenge which was to identify innovative ways for communities to engage with the data and develop actions to address factors that impact the overall health and well-being of their residents.”

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