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Unleashing the Power of Data and Innovation To Improve Health

Welcome to HealthData.gov! This site is dedicated to making high value health data more accessible to entrepreneurs, researchers, and policy makers in the hopes of better health outcomes for all.

'Liberating' Data

The government's decision in the 1980s to make Global Positioning System data openly available has spawned a vast array of private-sector innovations that have created large-scale public benefit and economic value.

In much the same way, HHS has begun "liberating" health data through HealthData.gov -- making more and more data from HHS' vaults (from CMS, CDC, FDA and NIH, to name a few sources) easily available and accessible to the public and to innovators across the country. This information includes clinical care provider quality information, nationwide health service provider directories, databases of the latest medical and scientific knowledge, consumer product data, community health performance information, government spending data and much more.

In addition to publishing brand-new data, we've also focused on making existing data much easier for developers to use -- i.e., by making it machine-readable, downloadable and accessible via application programming interfaces -- while rigorously protecting privacy and confidentiality. We've made this growing inventory of publicly available data resources easily findable and accessible at a central location through the HealthData.gov website. We are helping to promote the availability of our data to innovators across the country through grassroots "meetups," public competitions, "code-a-thons" and more.

Our goal is to unleash the power of private-sector innovators and entrepreneurs to utilize HHS data to create applications, products, services and features that help improve health and health care -- while also helping to create jobs of the future at the same time. By opening up our data, the idea is to help catalyze the emergence of a decentralized, self-propelled "ecosystem" of innovators across America who leverage HHS data to help consumers, care providers, employers, journalists, local policymakers and others in ways that no one organization could possibly even imagine -- let alone build, deploy and scale.

Success Seen at Health Data Initiative Forum

The growing momentum of the Health Data Initiative was highlighted at the first annual Health Data Initiative Forum (a.k.a. "Health Datapalooza") hosted on June 9, 2011 by the Institute of Medicine and HHS. This forum showcased 50 of the best products and services developed by companies that have harnessed HHS data to help consumers get the information they need, help doctors deliver better care, help employers promote health and wellness, help local policymakers make better-informed decisions and much more.

The solutions presented at the forum were a truly inspiring display of American entrepreneurship and ingenuity, exemplifying the power of open data and open innovation.

To learn more about Health Datapalooza, visit HealthDatapalooza.org.