SPOTLIGHT: HHS, IOM ask private sector to create apps from government data storehouses

HHS and the Institute of Medicine are joining forces to share public-health data in hopes of spurring development of  smartphone apps, social media and other IT tools for health improvement. The two entities last week launched the Community Health Data Initiative, a public-private partnership that will connect IT developers with vast storehouses of publicly available health data. As part of the effort, HHS this year will create the Health Indicators Warehouse. "The goal is to make the gigabytes of health data our nation generates accessible and productive. Information is the key to awareness about health and action to improve health," IOM President Harvey Fineberg said at a launch event in Washington last week. "The information technology sector has the creativity and skills to turn raw data into games, websites and other applications that make information easily attainable and usable," Fineberg added. FierceHealthIT