Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management

Project Title

Healthy Connections = Healthy Communities

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management

Date Awarded

October 25, 2013






New York State is one of the first states in the country to develop and launch an open data website dedicated to making a myriad of health data readily available to New Yorkers—both consumers and policymakers—in a user-friendly manner.

As a next step, NYHealth awarded a grant to Health Research, Inc. for the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to convene the best minds in technology to conduct a live code-a-thon event in December, and later a Health Innovation Challenge in 2014, where experts in health, app developers, data analysts, and decision-makers will work together to develop ideas for technologies that can help tackle the twin epidemics of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Under this grant, NYSDOH developed the Healthy Connections = Healthy Communities initiative, which evolved in two phases to spur the development of innovative technology to address obesity and diabetes prevention. The first phase was a two-day event, the New York State Health Data Code-a-Thon, which took place in December 2013. The event provided a forum for data experts, public health providers, academics, and other stakeholders to come together alongside technology experts and app developers to creatively use the latest technological advances and all available open health data for New York to build new ideas to help people take control of their health and make decisions that prevent obesity and diabetes. The second phase of this initiative, a Health Innovation Challenge, was formally announced in March 2014. The goal of the Challenge was to create technology-driven solutions that enable consumers, employers, public health experts, communities, and purchasers to explore quality, charges, and costs data for medical procedures provided by New York State inpatient hospital facilities. The solutions could be Web- mobile- or desktop-based and built with information found at Health Data NY, OPEN NY, and other open data sites and/or application programming interfaces. The solutions had to present the quality, cost, and efficiency data in a format that is easy to interpret.

NYSDOH partnered with Health 2.0 to lead and facilitate this work. For those interested in learning more about the December 2013 New York State Health Data Code-a-thon, please visit

In October 2014, NYSDOH announced the winners of the Health Innovation Challenge: DocSpot (first place), HealthRank (second place), and NaviNext (third place). Learn more about the winning applications.