Preface - the perspectives
Depending on your perspective about things going on around you, you can basically take one of two approaches - you could go the "Advamed/NFIB" route, constantly groaning loudly across the internet about how bad things are going to get with the FDA's half-hearted attempts at fixing it's fast and loose ways of approving poorly designed devices...or you could simply hunker down, accept the fact that the economy is bad, and the better approach, especially when there are gaps in between career moves, that you could "try"!
The Health 2.0 challenge is yet another Government conspiracy. The Department of Health and Human Services t(hat plans to help Congress pull the plug on the Grandma that you abandoned in Florida) supported the Community Health Data Initiative (CHDI) in announcing the Health 2.0 challenge. It works really easy - you either submit a challenge, or join a team working on a challenge and try to solve the challenge, online and offline.
The online part is where you work on the problems on an ongoing basis. If you go to the code-a-thons, then you are working on the offline part.
Fees and such
There are fees involved, but it looks like the fees get waived if you are a start-up that hasn't raised more than $1mn, or if you are an established company with more than $1mn in revenues.
And there it is, the first code-a-thon is on January 29, 2011 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Other events appear to take place in Washington DC and Boston (a fresh break from the FDA's "public" meetings). Of course, if you are simply reading this for paranoia, here is something you should know - the first code-a-thon will happen at the Mountain View Google campus! Wink, wink!
I have never cherished repeating basic facts verbatim, so I encourage you to visit the link at the end of this article.
If you are in the business of mulling health data across the internet, or in the EMR/EHR/HIT space, then such challenges are a great way to showcase your skills, the creativity, thought process and other assets. Competitions, games, barcamps, business plan contests etc, are a great way for you to boost your confidence, hone your skills, showcase your talents, seamlessly integrate this with that and fit square pegs into round holes...you get the idea!
And finally -
If you are participating in the 2011 challenge, give me a holler. I still feel bad missing the last one.
Until next time!