Obesity Prevention Code-a-Thon – the era of Geospatial

Yesterday was the first day of DC Health Data and Innovation Week, which started with the HD&IW Code-a-thon: Preventing Obesity. I have actually been at all 3 Washington DC-based code-a-thons, and can say (and celebrate) a paradigm shift, which is really from the individual, to the spectrum of individual, family, and community. Tyler Norris, the Vice President of Total Health Partnerships for Kaiser Permanente said it well, when he said that we have an opportunity to create a new class of applications that change civic decisions as much as individual decisions:

To help with that development, I counted no less than 4 geospatial experts in attendance yesterday. That’s a first in my code-a-thon history. These individuals have the ability to understand complex mapping and apply it to health and health care, for overall #RxSocial goodness. A great example is the Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems (CARES), which manages 7,000 GIS layers to help inform our world. Definitely check it out.

Aetna’s Carepass Developer Portal

– The other announcement that happened here at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health ( @kptotalhealth ) was the go-live of Aetna’s Carepass Developer Portal, which offers access to API keys to publicly available data as well as data from Aetna’s own datasets. This includes estimates of costs of care, and…de-identified claims. More announcements are expected this week. It was nice to get a glimpse of this resource, offered by the team that brought it into existence.

Today is Day 2, which is a great thing for a code-a-thon, because teams can sleep on their ideas and figure out how to position then and use data better. I already see a shift from the individual to the civic, from the location-independent to the geospatial. Here are the rest of my photographs from yesterday, enjoy.


Ted Eytan, MD