Winners: D.C. Health Data and Innovation Week Code-a-thon

This past weekend Heath 2.0 and the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health brought the Preventing Obesity Code-a-thon to Washington, D.C. The event was part of the district’s Health Data and Innovation week going on now. Despite tornado warnings, about 50 people showed up to form nine teams, leading to nine different ideas around how data can be used to create apps to promote exercise and healthy eating.

The code-a-thon grand prize winner and runner up received extremely close scores. After debating for a while, the judges decided to give the second place team two passes to Health 2.0 San Francisco 2012. That prize, along with some cash, is usually reserved only for the first place team. The idea is to demo the winning concept before a crowd after the team has taken time beyond the two-day competition to develop it. But the judges wanted to see both projects further developed, so each team will be on stage at the fall conference.

During the two-day competition, health insurance company Aetna gave developers a sneak peek at its API and anonymized claims data, which Aetna will officially make available this week at The Health Data Initiative Forum III.

D.C.-based Ted Eytan, family physician and blogger, has some great same-day coverage of the event. Jump over to his self-titled blog to look at pictures and learn more about a day in the life of a hacker. Below are descriptions about each of the winners:

1st Place School Fit: $4,000 and tickets to Health 2.0 San Francisco

The School Fit team says it aims to make school fitness data as meaningful and widely quoted as SAT scores, graduation rates and state championship wins. School Fit™ Score provides an easy way to measure and publicize school performance in physical fitness.

2nd Place My Healthy Plate: $3,000 and tickets to Health 2.0 San Francisco

Healthy Plate is a mobile app with a companion website that uses the nutritional proportion iconograph. The illustration breaks down a picture of a meal by nutrition information, portion, recipe, and grocery list.

3rd Place: LessBadd $1,000 tie

LessBadd allows users to send a message via text to tell a service where they plan to eat. The service then responds with a healthy suggestion from the menu. The services also sends a follow-up question afterward to see what the user chose to eat. Food suggestions can be customized over time.

3rd Place: SMS2Live $1,000 tie

SMS2Live helps patients reach dietary goals via daily micro-challenges sent from their doctor via SMS, twitter and email. Patients can respond to the challenges using text messaging, and over time they create a history of activity they can share with their doctor.

5th Place: MyLocalPlate $500

The team integrated Yelp with data from and, in order to create a health rating system. The team said this will be the next popular food search engine.

6th Place: healthABC $500

HealthABC is a platform designed for children to drive behavior change through rewards. The platform also provides parents with research data with “what-if” analyses produced by a team of clinicians and behavioral experts.

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