Reflections on Datapalooza Reply

Our Health Data Initiative Datapalooza experience was really valuable. We learned a lot about open data, innovative apps and APIs, and creative ways to incent the crowd to solve big problems. Here are Datapalooza observations from Dave CrumbacherBarry Crist and me.

  1. It was our first time seeing Todd Park speak in person – his positive energy,enthusiasm and “do it” spirit sets him apart.
  2. APIs are the way to enable app development and unleash data. It was good to learn of the National Library of Medicine APIs, the Aetna CarePass Developer Portal and more.
  3. Meeting TiffanyandLupus and hearing her commitment to help people live with Lupus is the best motivation to do something good.
  4. Challenges are powerful and there are plenty of ways to approach them.  Innocentive, Kaggle, TopCoder, and more have challenge platforms – and they also have expertise to help you design a challenge for success.  As Dwayne Spradlin, Innocentive CEO said, “Getting the problem right is halfway to the solution.”
  5. People will come from far and wide for a good hackathon.  Cash prizes do the trick.
  6. Essie is the powerful search engine leveraged by the ClinicalTrials.gov registry and other National Library of Medicine sites.  Not only does it have sophisticated algorithms to enable robust phrase-based search, but it’s lightening fast.  A nod goes to Nick Ide and his development team.
  7. It was a pleasure to meet Will Cukierski of Kaggle, and learn how Kaggle’s analytic based challenges work.  It was interesting to hear his progression from working his way up the challenge leader board to joining Kaggle.  We’ll stay in touch.
  8. Dwayne Spradlin is a gracious, humble and wise leader.  Thank you for sharing your insight with us.
  9. The vast majority of apps were focused on either the patient or public health, with a lesser focus on scientific applications.  That makes sense.  We expect the scientific space to grow with more data and tools to work scientific data. We intend to help with that.
  10. We now know about the people wearing jackets with paintings on the back. The Walking Gallery tells individual patient stories through art.  ‘”We are the Gallery that walks.  We are the Patients that wear our stories on our backs.” Take some time to explore Regina Holliday’s art and The Walking Gallery.

Leave a comment and share your Datapalooza observations…

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