Open Innovation Challenge Delivers New Data on Appropriateness of Care

New model tested to support evidence-informed decision making

(Toronto) – Teams from across Canada raced to answer pressing questions about the healthcare system for an opportunity to take part in up to $80,000 in awards. During the two-month ImagineNation Data Impact Challenge, authorized users of existing Canadian health care data sets prepared submissions that could help reimagine the future of evidence-informed decision making. 

Canada Health Infoway’s (Infoway) ImagineNation Data Impact Challenge was created to test the feasibility of a new model for answering practice and policy questions.  The process was designed to provide answers quickly, and provide confidence by sourcing evidence from multiple sources. Participating teams answered important questions such as, “How often are laboratory or diagnostic imaging tests repeated within ninety days? and “Does prompt access to a discharge summary by primary care providers reduce readmissions and/or emergency department visits?” To view all Data Challenge questions, visit

“The Challenge response exceeded our expectations,” said Jennifer Zelmer, Executive Vice President, Canada Health Infoway. “Twenty-six teams from six provinces were responsible for 41 submissions and represented organizations such as hospitals, family health care teams, universities and research organizations.  

Congratulations to the following teams:

  • Western π-rates, London, ON – First Place, $20,000
  • A2I, Halifax, NS  –  Runner Up, $10,000
  • Avengers, Toronto, ON - Runner Up, $10,000
  • Manitoba Primary Care Research Network, Winnipeg, MB – Runner Up (two awards for questions 5 and 6F), $10,000 per award
  • Ottawa Hospital Performance Measurement, Ottawa, ON –  Runner Up, $10,000
  • Lower Mainland Laboratory Services, Vancouver, BC – Judges’ Choice Award, $5,000

“This Challenge shows the power of open innovation,” said Zelmer. “Teams from across Canada were able to rapidly leverage existing data in a privacy-sensitive way to inform health policy and program decisions. The judging panel was impressed by the speed and quality of the new analysis generated through the Challenge.”

All Challenge submissions are available to be viewed or referenced. Each Challenge question and the responses will be presented and discussed in a webinar series being launched this fall. Visit for more information, or subscribe to Interchange newsletter for updates.

About the Data Impact Challenge

Researchers and analysts, who are authorized users of Canadian health care data sets, were invited to answer one or more important health care questions. The questions were developed by Infoway and its supporting organizations including, Choosing Wisely Canada, Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR).

Each entry was evaluated for speed of submission, as well as quality as assessed by a panel of health care and academic experts.

About the ImagineNation Challenge Series

The ImagineNation Challenges seek to inspire, provoke, and promote innovation in health and health care and foster a community of innovators in Canada. While each ImagineNation Challenge is different, they all share the same ultimate goal: to improve the quality of care and the patient experience. Launched in 2011, the ImagineNation Challenges have ranged from generating ideas to supporting adoption and use to measuring the impact of digital health in Canada.

Infoway works with national organizations to help shape the Challenges through expert advice, encouraging participation and promoting the results. These organizations include:


About Canada Health Infoway

Infoway helps to improve the health of Canadians by working with partners to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health across Canada. Through our investments, we help deliver better quality and access to care and more efficient delivery of health services for patients and clinicians. Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government.


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Karen Schmidt
Director, Corporate/Internal Communications
Canada Health Infoway
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