HHS Contest Seeks Apps That Track Health Issues Via Twitter

On Tuesday, HHS' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response announced the launch of a contest that challenges software developers to design a Web application that uses Twitter to track real-time health trends, Government Health IT reports.

About the Contest

According to a notice published in the Federal Register, the Now Trending: #Health contest calls for the creation of an application that would gather open-source Twitter data from a specific geographic region and track the frequency of common illness-related terms.

The application would need to generate a list of the top five illnesses in a particular region during the past 24 hours and deliver the list to public health agencies through an online widget.

Public health agencies could use the Twitter-generated data to bolster their surveillance of emerging health issues, HHS officials said.

Timeline, Prize for Winning Application

Interested developers must submit their contest entries by June 1. HHS will announce the winning application in August (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 3/20).

The individual or team that develops the winning application will receive $21,000 from ASPR and a $1,000 travel stipend to attend an event announcing the winning program. HHS also will make the winning application available to public health agencies across the country (HHS release, 3/20).

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