HHS awards $10k to 3 opioid code-a-thon teams

HHS selected three teams as winners of its opioid code-a-thon Dec. 8, each of which received a $10,000 prize.

HHS hosted its first two-day code-a-thon focused on opioids Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 at the agency's Washington, D.C.-based headquarters. The code-a-thon invited computer programmers, public health experts and data scientists to develop data-driven technology solutions that addressed opioid misuse and treatment.

More than 300 coders worked for two days, studying data from HHS and other federal agencies to analyze trends and propose solutions to the opioid epidemic.

Here are the three winners, selected from a total of 50 teams.

1. The Visionist. The team tackled opioid misuse prevention with a program called "Take Back America." The program assesses the need for "take back programs" at pharmacies in five states, so that unused and unneeded opioids can be returned and taken out of circulation.

2. The Origami Innovations. The team developed a model to support access to opioid treatment. The model tracks overdoses in real time to help first responders and health authorities assess and allocate resources during outbreaks of opioid availability.

3. The Opioid Prescriber Awareness Tool. The team addressed opioid usage by developing a program that provides physicians with visual representations of their prescribing patterns compared to their peers. It also enables physicians to view the prescribing patterns of physicians they may refer patients to.

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