In Plain Sight: Is Open Data Improving Our Health?

Cheryl Wold

How many health solutions are hiding in plain sight? From hospital-acquired infections to childhood obesity, initiatives to promote open data aim to improve community health.

January 2015

Open data initiatives aim to accelerate innovative uses of information. It worked with weather and global positioning system data, so why not health? In Plain Sight: Is Open Data Improving Our Health? describes open health data initiatives from across the country and looks at the impact they are making on people's health and well-being.

Four case studies are featured in this report:

  • Prevention of foodborne illness in Chicago
  • A pedestrian safety effort in San Francisco
  • Childhood obesity surveillance in New York
  • Public reporting of hospital-acquired infections

Open data releases are a recent phenomenon — evidence takes time to accumulate, and evaluations are difficult and costly. Yet there are some promising examples that show the types of outcomes that may start to emerge from open health data efforts and support the conversations.

The full report is available under Document Downloads.