Aetna Foundation Challenge Announced

The Aetna Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc., in partnership with Health 2.0 has issued a Developer Challenge to solicit new interactive browser-based applications designed to make important federal data about obesity and related data sets more accessible and usable for health services researchers, public health officials, policy makers and other leaders in the fight against obesity. The Aetna Foundation Challenge was announced today by the foundation’s president, Anne C. Beal, M.D., M.P.H. at the Health Data Initiative Forum at the Institute of Medicine meeting in Bethesda, Md.

“The Aetna Foundation Challenge is unique in that it is designed to specifically provide key stakeholders with the information they need to better understand the U.S. obesity epidemic”

“As a health services researcher, I understand all too well that the best health data in the world can’t be used to improve people’s lives if there aren’t the right tools to make useful analyses of the data possible,” said Dr. Beal. “Now that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is making so much health data available through its open health data initiative, we want to ensure that our colleagues, particularly those working to reduce obesity, have robust applications to help them access that data and use it in their work to stem this epidemic. We welcome the opportunity to partner with Health 2.0 in their efforts to spur innovation in health technology.”

The Aetna Foundation is dedicated to promoting wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone and focuses its grant making on fighting obesity as well as addressing health disparities and promoting integrated health care.

The Aetna Foundation Challenge aims to drive the creation of innovative tools that will connect various government data sets, enable predictive modeling and scenario analysis, transform data into meaningful visualizations, such as maps, charts and illustrations, facilitate the creation of presentation slides, and utilize social media to develop and share information on factors that can impact obesity.

“The Aetna Foundation Challenge is unique in that it is designed to specifically provide key stakeholders with the information they need to better understand the U.S. obesity epidemic,” said Indu Subaiya, CEO and co-founder of Health 2.0. “We are excited to be working with the Aetna Foundation on this important project and we look forward to the development of a range of applications that can help the foundation fulfill its mission.”

The top prize for the best application will be $25,000 and two free passes to the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco on September 26 – 27. Second prize will be $15,000, and third prize will be $10,000. Submitted applications will be judged on their user-friendliness and interactive capabilities; the quality of health data integration; creativity and innovation; and potential for impact. Additional points will be given for including a health services researcher on the developer team and for incorporating non-health data sources and data sets that enable analyses at the individual, zip code or county level.

Judges will include Mark Bertolini, chairman, CEO and president of Aetna Inc.; Andre Blackman, director, digital communications/new media at the American Heart Association; and Dr. Beal, among others to be announced. The submission deadline is August 15, 2011. The winners will be announced at the Health 2.0 Conference.

The Health 2.0 Developer Challenge was launched on June 2, 2023 at the Community Health Data Initiative (CHDI) meeting at the Institute of Medicine, with support from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Initiated in March 2010, the HHS initiative endeavors to ignite innovation using newly opened government data sets. Since the first Developer Challenge, Health 2.0 has facilitated more than 20 Developer Challenges and is currently working on more than 30 new Challenge projects.

About the Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation, Inc. is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed $394 million in grants and sponsorships, including $15.6 million in 2010. As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who have volunteered more than 2.3 million hours since 2003. Our current giving is focused on addressing the rising rate of adult and childhood obesity in the U.S.; promoting racial and ethnic equity in health and health care; and advancing integrated health care. For more information, visit

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