The Healthy Connections = Healthy Communities" Challenge was done to support communities and individuals wanting to take charge of their health. One way to take charge is using information to help inform choices. Employers, individuals, communities, and public health experts are all seeking information to help them more easily understand and navigate the health care delivery system. Through opening health data and innovative data - driven applications, we move one step closer to communities and individuals achieving better health.
The goal of the NYS Health Innovation Challenge was to create technology-driven solutions that enable consumers, employers, public health experts, communities and purchasers to explore quality, charges, and costs data for medical procedures provided by NYS inpatient hospital facilities. Teams were given four months to use data from Health Data NY, OPEN NY, and other open data sites to create their solution. An independent panel of esteemed judges from such sectors as health care, information technology, academia, venture capital and others used a rigorous set of criteria to choose the three solutions that best addressed the challenge. Additional details about the challenge can be found on Health 2.0's developer challenge website.   
Winners were announced during an award ceremony at the Nelson Rockefeller Institute for Government on October 15, 2014.  The award ceremony also showcased a series of luminary talks and panels by individuals and organizations working to facilitate better health through data -driven solutions.  Photos of the event and the schedule are available on this website. 
The Innovation Challenge was announced a year after Governor Andrew M. Cuomo debuted Open NY, a comprehensive state data transparency website that provides user friendly, one stop access to data from New York State Agencies, localities, and the federal government. The site is part of Governor Cuomo's Open NY Initiative, which aims to make state government more open, innovative and cost effective. Health Data NY, which served as the pilot effort, was released with Open NY in March 2013.