HHS Opioid Code-a-Thon
Government data is a critical tool in fighting the deadly, nationwide opioid crisis. The Opioid Code-a-Thon, hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in December 2017, was held to “develop data-driven solutions to combat the opioid epidemic, building on HHS’ five-part strategy.” The Opioid Code-a-Thon, which brought together 50 technology development teams, was structured around three tracks: a treatment track focused on improving access to treatment and recovery services, a usage track designed to improve understanding of the epidemic through better public health data and reporting, and a prevention track for ensuring access to preventative resources and overdose-reversing drugs.
According to its website: “Before the in-person event, HHS made de-identified data from HHS, federal, state, and local government, as well as private industry, available to challenge teams via a portal . . . On the day of the event, HHS released restricted data sets from HHS, states, and the private sector for the purposes of the Code-a-Thon.” Winners in each of the Opioid Code-a-Thon’s three tracks were awarded prizes, and HHS is working to encourage development of their ideas.