Go Viral to Improve Health

The 2013 IOM-NAE Health Data Collegiate Challenge


Using social networking, mobile apps, and other new technologies, how can the power of health data be unleashed to increase awareness of health problems and inspire positive action at the community level? For the past three years, the IOM and NAE have challenged college and university students to use health data to develop effective, innovative apps that take on the nation’s pressing health issues. To learn more about the 2011 and 2012 Challenges, go to our Past Challenges page.

The 2013 Challenge

With an abundance of health data available as part of the Health Data Initiative (HDI), students had an unprecedented opportunity to create interactive apps and other tools that engage and empower people in ways that lead to better health. Working in 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. Teams were asked to:

  • Identify a health problem.
  • Assemble a team of between two and five students.
  • Develop an app using publicly available, de-identified health data.
  • Demonstrate how the app will engage people in their community to promote action that will improve their health.

The winning teams were:

First place ($10,000 award): H-Radar
Che-Hao Chen, Chien-An Chen, Vincent Chun-Wen, Jia-Hao Fan, and Szu-Wei Wang
Texas A&M University

Second place ($5,000 award): Flu-Trackr
ZeNan Chang, Chi Feng, Allen Lin, Sourav Sinha, and Helena Zhang
University of California, Los Angeles; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Harvard University; and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Third place ($3,000 award): SafePlace
Nicolas Aguilar, Lucas Johnson, Anthony Pham, Kelsey Smithart, and Michael Tiedman
University of Iowa

Submissions were evaluated on their use and integration of health data, design and usability, innovation and creativity, and their potential to have real impact on improving health of individuals and communities.

The esteemed panel of judges for the 2013 Challenge were:

  • Bill Davenhall, Senior Health Advisor, Health and Human Services, Esri
  • Ruth David, President and CEO, ANSER (Analytic Services, Inc.)
  • Richard Merkin, President and CEO, Heritage Provider Network
  • Barbara Rimer, Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Read the news release here.

Activity Contact Information

Bradley Eckert

Phone: 202-334-1248
E-mail: goviral@nas.edu