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HHS launches health.data.gov

February 18, 2011

Imagine a world where community health data is as ubiquitous and useful as weather data.  That’s the goal of HHS CTO Todd Park and the driving force behind the launch this week of health.data.gov, a government website which is serving as a one-stop source for government-collected health data.

This data (with 197 datasets available) is free to the public and viewable, downloadable, and accessible via APIs.

In conjunction with existing app development competitions on challenge.gov and health2challenge.org, this data will be parsed and made usable in many different ways – with the applications that it’s used in set to grow explosively.

For the healthcare information professional, this is pretty exciting stuff – not only is more information getting out there, but it’s going to be a lot more available to be parsed in different ways – so it’s definitely something to keep tabs on!

(as a side note, it also behooves us to be more fluent in APIs and middleware like Yahoo Pipes.  The rationale being, if we’re not getting into the data and understanding how to use it and its limitations/benefits, someone else will – and that’s one less reason to turn to the information professional.)

More information about the launch here.

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