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The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

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DHMH Press Releases : Health Data Innovation Contest Finale




Baltimore, MD (May 18, 2012) -- On Monday, May 21st, leading participants in Maryland's first Health Data Innovation Contest will come to the State House to present their ideas to a panel of health care and technology experts. At stake are prize money and an opportunity to move innovative ideas along the path to implementation.
"These ideas allow us to think into the future about ways to use data and technology to improve health," said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). "I appreciate the efforts of everyone who participated."
The Health Data Innovation Contest was born out of a partnership among Maryland's DHMH, the Baltimore-based Abell Foundation, and Chesapeake Regional Information Systems for Our Patients (CRISP), Maryland's statewide health information exchange. For six weeks, the contest encouraged the public to submit practical ideas for creative use of data to improve the health status of Maryland residents. Applicants were encouraged to propose solutions using data from more than sixteen existing health-related databases, in combination with various other publically available state and federal databases. Applicants were also encouraged to propose ideas that leveraged Maryland's health information exchange infrastructure to facilitate significant health gains, while respecting privacy.
The contest drew broad participation: 41 ideas were submitted and more than 750 votes were cast. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Tom Frieden, as well as staff from DHMH and the Governor's office, encouraged participation through their twitter accounts.
"Maryland's health information exchange is being developed very much in the model of a public utility, making health data more readily available at the point of care in a safe and secure manner," said David Horrocks, president of CRISP. "It can also serve as a platform for further innovation, supporting new ideas such as the ones presented by more than 40 applicants."
These applicants, with backgrounds ranging from academics to healthcare to the technology industry, proposed innovative and creative ideas, which were subject to a public vote. Top ideas were then evaluated by a panel of experts, who chose five finalists to present their idea at Monday's event. The event will give finalists a chance to explain their idea in more detail, as well as to answer questions from the distinguished panel of judges. The winners will receive an award funded by The Abell Foundation ranging from $250 for an honorable mention to $2000 for the contest winner.
The finale event will be held at the Governor's Reception Room (Maryland State House, 100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401) from 8:45am-11am. For more information on the contest and to see all of the submitted ideas, please visit
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