Renowned leaders in the research, data science and health care communities to partake in event on Oct. 19 – 21 in Austin, Texas

AUSTIN, TEXAS (PRWEB) OCTOBER 4, 2018 – The inaugural Health Equity Hackathon today detailed a renewed collaborative commitment to identifying and tackling systematic obstacles to health, including the participation of renowned leaders in the research, data science and health care communities alongside priority populations. The inaugural event will take place in Austin, Texas on October 19 – 21.

Through access to open source data surrounding social determinants of health and access to care, participants will be able to view widespread medical conditions afflicting underserved communities including obesity, opioid addiction and women’s health issues through a different lens and collaboratively develop data-driven solutions to help eliminate obstacles preventing health equity.

“The current social, cultural, and political climate has revealed many of the systems that operationalize inequity in healthcare.  Our hope is that by taking a deeper dive into key determinants of health such as access to good jobs, quality education, housing and healthcare, participants will be able to work together to illuminate pathways to fair and just health outcomes, particularly for those most marginalized,” said L.Toni Lewis, M.D., founder and president of Liberation Health Strategies and acclaimed health equity strategist.  Dr. Lewis will join Careset’s Chief Technology Officer Fred Trotter as an event emcee.

Participants will leverage open source data and open source technology including Medicare Advantage data, Wikipedia datasets, and never before seen data about the use of Kratom, a “psychoactive plant” that can cause hallucinations, psychosis, seizures and death.

“The addition of never-before-seen Medicare Advantage datasets will revitalize dozens of existing datasets,” said Trotter of CareSet.  CareSet works with Medicare to release Public Use Files that originate with Medicare claims data and was recently awarded first-ever access to Medicare Advantage data.

The hackathon is looking for innovators from all backgrounds and levels of experience. This includes data visualization experts, health economists, talented students, leaders in population health and health policy, coders, entrepreneurs, graphic designers, and other curious IT or healthcare experts. A wide variety of solutions are encouraged, including, but not limited to, analysis, infographics, dashboards, software projects, prototypes, ideas, scripts or bots.

A sampling of questions participants will tackle include –

  • How can the Wikipedia medicine project improve which articles are delivered to remote areas?
  • How can we detect when YouTube videos have clinically invalid content?
  • Can we help determine where new health resources should be located to increase profit and improve access to the underserved at the same time?

“As opposed to other hackathons where one winner walks away with a prize and the bragging rights, we are looking to create a more collaborative, barn-building approach to problem solving,” said Trotter.

“This will allow all participants to leverage their individual skills and have the opportunity to make meaningful change.”

Mentors spanning the research, data science and health care communities include American Hospital Association Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer  Jay Bhatt, DO, MPH, MPA, FACP; Health and Human Services’ Chief Data Officer, Mona Siddiqui; Executive Director at Harris County Public Health, Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH; and Susan Hutfless, Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins Medicine, among others, will be onsite to provide guidance and insight to event participants.

“Innovation and technology have revolutionized healthcare and the world around us. The trick is how can we harness that same effort to improve the health of not just an individual, but an entire community,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, executive director of Harris County Public Health. “As a physican, a public health director, and a father, I’m excited to serve as a mentor at this hackathon and guide solutions that can help build a healthy community.”

“Equitable access to high-quality health services is a shared strategic objective. This project aims to help key decision-makers in the areas of health, housing, education, transportation, social programs and policy understand the important influence all their decisions have in determining people’s opportunities for health,” says Dr. Bhatt.

Teams will present their projects on Sunday afternoon where they will be connected to mentors and sponsors with additional resources to further their findings.

“Our goal is to build bridges to reality and find ways for the hard work poured into the Health Equity Hackathon to live on,” said Trotter. “We want to give people the opportunity to be part of an unprecedented solution.”

Hosted at the Capital Factory in Austin, Texas, the Health Equity Hackathon includes sponsorship support from the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity of the American Hospital Association and CareSet Systems, with additional support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Nurses Association, Design Institute for Health at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, Innovation Learning Network, Socrata, and others.

To register for the Health Equity Hackathon, visit  Spots are limited, and the $20 registration fee includes meals and a branded t-shirt.

To learn more about the inaugural Health Equity Hackathon, visit and follow the event’s Facebook and Twitter pages.


Media inquiries:

Christine Rashman