Visualization of Community-Level Social Determinants of Health Challenge
This Challenge invited participants to develop new online tools to present and encourage use of free, publicly available social determinants of health data to better understand and predict communities’ unmet healthcare needs.
About the Challenge
Significant disparities persist among many U.S. subpopulations in their receipt of quality healthcare. Further, there are multiple social factors that contribute to poor quality care and increased healthcare spending.
This challenge was consistent with the HHS goal of increasing value-based care by leveraging technology and providing innovative tools to help organizations improve their understanding of factors that contribute to poor quality care and address unmet community health service delivery needs. Evidence has suggested that using data on social determinants of health and community services may help AHRQ and others better plan for the use of limited resources, improve population health outcomes, and drive savings.
Timeline and Prize Structure
The Challenge was structured in two phases. In Phase 1, which launched in March 2019, participants submitted concept abstracts and prototype designs of data visualization methods. For Phase 1, 12 semifinalists received $10,000 each based on the merits of their proposals and moved to Phase 2.
In Phase 2, semifinalists developed proofs-of-concept to be judged by the expert panel. One grand prize winner from Phase 2 won $50,000; second place was $35,000; third place won $15,000.
Review Criteria/Data Resources (Examples)
Challenge submissions were reviewed by a committee of experts with requisite competencies. The advisors used a Likert-type scale to assign numeric ratings in five categories: Data, Innovation, Tool, Insight, and Implementation. Each category was equally weighted (i.e., 20%).
Submissions were required to include publicly available SDOH data to design visualization tools to augment the insights drawn from analyzing medical expenditure and healthcare utilization data at the community level. Examples of data sources are listed below:
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index
- Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Data Resources
- Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) System
- HRSA Area Health Resources Files
- HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Professional Shortages Areas
- HRSA Uniform Data System Resources (including Community Health Centers)
- U.S. Census Bureau American Fact Finder Table
- U.S. Census Bureau Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE)
- U.S. Census Bureau, Census Bureau Small Area Health Insurance Estimates
- U.S. Census Bureau, Census County Business Patterns
Grand Prize Winner $50,000
Mathematica's Community Connector is a visualization tool that facilitates community health and social determinants of health (SDOH) needs assessments. The tool is designed to help local community members and policymaker understand how SDOH are associated with health outcomes in their regions and foster collaboration between counties in areas such as peer-to-peer learning, sharing best practices, and engaging effective interventions.
The team used a combination of SDOH sources to create their winning entry, including American Community Survey, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Diabetes Atlas, Area Health Resource Files, Opportunity Atlas, Walk Score, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and Colorado.gov (CDPHE).
Second Place $35,000
Salish Research Group
The Salish Research Group endeavored to address both the preparation and deployment phases of response to heat stress illness. Their Heat-Related Illness application enables a cascade of readiness events, including:
- Development and deployment of heat shelters in areas of high heat-related illness (HRI) risk.
- Targeted contact for individuals known to be at high risk of HRI.
- Outreach maps for law enforcement to participate in wellness checks.
- Improved readiness of hospitals, emergency departments, and emergency medical services in areas of high HRI risk.
- Funding targeted to provide air conditioning for at-risk homes.
- Urban development to reduce heat island effects and improve canopy coverage in high HRI risk areas.
The team used several SDOH sources to develop their entry, including county-level incidence data from the Kansas Department of Health and Environmental Public Health Tracking Portal, environmental data from Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium, American Community Survey, HRSA Area Health Resources File, and weather data from OpenWeatherMap.org.
Third Place $15,000
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Mortality Minder explores mortality trends for midlife adults ages 25–64 across the United States from 2000-2017. Users can identify social and economic factors associated with increased mortality trends at the county level for the Nation and individual States. Visualizations demonstrate determinants and their impact on mortality trends.
Sources used by the team include Wonder.CDC.org and CountHealthRankings.org from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
AHRQ selected 12 semifinalists from Phase 1 who were awarded $10,000 and moved on the Phase 2 to develop their prototype.
|Anne Arundel Medical Center||"Population Insight Engine"||Annapolis, MD|
|Customer Value Partners||"CVP Visualization Tool"||Fairfax, VA|
|Edward Nunes||"American Health Mapper"||Richmond, VA|
|Emrify Labs||"Kaleidohscope"||Nashville, TN|
|George and Teimuraz Trapaidze||"Trapaidze"||North Potomac, MD|
|IMPAQ International, LLC||"SDOH Dashboard Action Tool"||Columbia, MD|
|Massachusetts General Hospital||"V-Lens"||Boston, MA|
|Mathematica||"Community Connector"||Cambridge, MA|
|PCD Consulting||"SDOH Interactive Atlas"||Cambridge, MA|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||"Mortality Minder"||Troy, NY|
|Salish Research Group||"Heat-Related Illness"||Denver, CO|
|University of Minnesota||"Community Health Exploratory Analysis Platform"||Minneapolis, MN|