The Health Data Initiative

Type: Stand Alone Workshop
Topics: Public Health
Board: HMD Executive Office

Activity News and Announcements

Activity Description

The Health Data Initiative (HDI), originally launched by the IOM and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the Community Health Data Initiative, is a public-private collaboration that encourages innovators to utilize health data to develop applications to raise awareness of health and health system performance and spark community action to improve health.

In March 2010, the IOM and HHS hosted a small gathering of leaders from the White House, federal agencies, academia, social sectors, public health communities, information technology firms, major businesses, and health care delivery systems to catalyze the formation of a new Community Health Data Initiative, and to plan for a June 2010 launch. 

On June 2, 2010, the IOM and HHS held The Community Health Data Forum: Harnessing the Power of Information to Improve Health.  The purpose of this public Forum was to further ongoing efforts of innovators using community-level health data to empower individuals and communities to make informed choices about their health.

As the types of available health data expanded beyond community data to include data on coverage, access, cost, quality, products and recalls, benefits, and more, the Community Health Data Initiative was rebranded as the Health Data Initiative.

In June 2011, the Health Data Initiative Forum expanded to include more than 50 applications that used data from HHS and other data suppliers.  Community leaders, consumers, employers, providers, and others showcased ways that data could be used to spur health assessment, planning, and action. 

The Health Data Initiative Forum III: The Health Datapalooza, held on June 5 and 6, 2012, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., brought together a diverse group of data experts, technology developers, entrepreneurs, policy makers, health care system leaders, and community advocates to support innovative application of health and health care data.  For more information about the 2012 HDI Forum, please visit

The HDI envisions an expanding array of applications being built using data from HHS and other data suppliers.  Community leaders, consumers, employers, providers, and others can choose among independently developed applications to help in health assessment, planning, and action.  The HDI does not endorse particular applications, but rather enables their independent development through easier access to expanded, free data (see and  More information is available at

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