In recent years, the federal government has opened vast repositories of programmatically accessible open data and content. We are a team representing the CDC and FDA, seeking to raise awareness of health-related federal digital assets, to cross-pollinate with open data developer communities focused on healthcare, and to get a better sense of interests and needs within such communities. Programmatically accessible federal health data and content offers countless new possibilities in terms of localization (by state, region, city, or demographic group), as well as for mashups with partner digital assets from the local and state levels, from academic realms, and from the private sector.
Currently available digital federal health offerings span a broad range—from syndicated content (including web, video, images, and infographics), to traditional downloadable numerical data. Using syndicated web content, hospitals and state/local public health departments have vastly increased their public health offerings, while significantly decreasing internal resource demands. Syndicated content also provides an easy ability to seamlessly layer local, state, and federal information within a single web site area. Meanwhile, a wealth of federal health datasets are available via traditional RESTful interfaces, as well as through web-based technologies like SOCRATA. Such data is often filterable, configurable, and viewable online, downloadable in such formats as CSV, JSON, PDF, and XML, as well as programmatically accessible through facilities like the SOCRATA Open Data API (SODA), and the CKAN API.
We look forward to exploring your thoughts and ideas around public health and open data!
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