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Forward with Health Innovations

By Dr. Josh Sharfstein, Secretary of the DHMH

Two years ago today, the President signed the Affordable Care Act into law. Since that time, we’ve made great strides in expanding and improving health care services for the people of our State. Together, we’ve extended health care coverage to over 310,000 previously uninsured Marylanders–half of whom are children–and with this year’s budget we’ll bring that number up to 400,000.

Expanding access to health care is just one step on the path to a Healthier Maryland.  Health care also needs to become more efficient and effective in supporting better outcomes at lower costs.

Over the past few years, Maryland has developed a statewide electronic health information exchange–a system that allows doctors and health institutions to share information to provide better care.  Leadership by Maryland’s hospitals and thousands of Maryland doctors have made our exchange one of the most successful in the nation.

And now we’re looking to the future.  We’ve launched a new competition — with cash prizes! — to identify ideas on how data from the exchange and elsewhere can be used, consistent with privacy protections, to improve health.

In partnership with the Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP) and the Abell Foundation, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is sponsoring the Maryland Health Data Innovation Prize.

The Prize will reward new insights, solutions, and interventions to address public health challenges.  To learn more about the contest and submit ideas, visit this page.

In Maryland, we know that our greatest asset is the talents, skills and ingenuity of our people and I look forward to reading the submissions. I also want to encourage everyone to either submit an idea or comment on others. Thanks and good luck.

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