Winners of New York State Health Innovation Challenge Announced

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 15, 2014) - The New York State Department of Health today announced the winners of the inaugural New York State Health Innovation Challenge – a four-month contest among tech companies vying to create the most useful technological tool to help consumers make sense of health data. The contest is a public-private partnership that builds upon New York's open data initiative.

"Governor Cuomo's OPEN NY initiative has made more of New York's data available than ever before,"said acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "The Health Innovation Challenge seeks to capitalize on this wealth of information to help consumers make better informed health care choices. Our winners successfully developed solutions that present New York's health data in a format that enables consumers to make comparisons based on the metrics most important to them."

Announced in March, the Health Innovation Challengesought to promote and capitalize uponGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo's OPEN NY initiative, which aims to make state government more open, innovative, and cost-effective. In this contest, multidisciplinary teams of coders and developers were invited to create tech-based solutions to help consumers access useful information about the quality, cost, and efficiency of health care services.

Six judges from an array of industries were selected to review the more than 18 submissions and evaluate them based upon decision making, creativity, feasibility of implementation, target audience, and how data were utilized. All three winners successfully transformed data into clear, understandable information which empowers consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.

The winners are:

  • First Place ($30,000) - DocSpot
  • Second Place ($10,000) - HealthRank
  • Third Place ($3,000 ) - NaviNext

Earning first place honors and $30,000 is DocSpot, a website which seeks to simplify consumers' decision making by weaving numerous publicly available data sets into one unified interface. Lauded by the judges for its clarity and simplicity, DocSpot utilizes data from Health Data NY,, state medical boards, hospital and clinic physician directories, and reviews from the web, giving users the ability to compare providers using a variety of metrics.

Taking home the $10,000 second place prize was HealthRank. This application enables patients to manage their own care by providing them with the ability to prioritize among cost, quality, and access on a five-point scale from 'Not Important' to 'Very Important.' Graphical displays of the data are also available to better depict how each of the top-ranked hospitals compare with regard to the four criteria.

The $3,000 third place prize was awarded to NaviNext which utilizes Google Maps to pinpoint hospitals that treat a particular condition or provide a specific service. The visually appealing layout allows users to sort hospitals between 'highest rated', 'lowest cost' and 'closest to me' and compare several hospitals at one time.

All of the winning presentations will be posted at as of October 16, 2014.

The New York State Health Innovation Challenge was a collaboration of the New York State Health Foundation, Health Research Incorporated, New York State Department of Health and New York State Office of Information Technology Services, with funding provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.