Finalists for Phase 1 of the Healthy Behaviour Data Challenge — an initiative designed to find innovative way to identify new data sources and methods for monitoring public health — have been selected. Successful submissions were received from academic and private sector teams from across Canada, with intriguing concepts such as use of home thermostats, smartphone sensors, and social media activity to track and measure indicators of healthy behaviour.
Visit the ImagineNationChallenge.ca website to learn about Infoway’s own Data Impact Challenges, which helped inspired to launch the Healthy Behaviour Data Challenge after reviewing Infoway’s successful Challenge strategy and approach.
MaRS Discovery District, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research created the Healthy Behaviour Data Challenge in order to identify and evaluate new data sources and methods for use in monitoring of public health. This Challenge sought innovators with creative new concepts for types of data and data sources that can be used to measure indicators of: physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep. Over thirty innovative proposals were submitted with nine selected to proceed as Phase 1 finalists.
The list of Phase 1 finalists can be found on the Healthy Behaviour Data Challenge website.
Phase 2 of the Challenge will invite the innovators to prototype their proposed concepts and compare the results to outputs currently generated from public health surveillance programs. Up to three Phase 2 winners will then be selected to receive a financial award and the opportunity to collaborate with Public Health Agency of Canada to integrate their solution into practice.
The Healthy Behaviour Data Challenge provided an opportunity for the Canadian “crowd” to be an innovation partner with a direct role in supporting and enhancing public health surveillance. The quality and creativity of proposals truly reflects the potential and ingenuity of Canadians and their ability to develop innovative and homegrown solutions capable of tackling current and future gaps in public health.
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Timothy Luk is a Project Manager on the MaRS Data Catalyst team, working on health data initiatives. He manages projects that enable access to consumers’ health information, enable new digital health solutions to come to market, and redefine how novel data sources can support public health monitoring and interventions. He is a Project Management Professional.
Shahab Shahnazari leads MaRS Data Catalyst’s work in the health space. Managing the MyHealth initiative, Shahab is working with a multi-disciplinary team to create an innovation platform that will give consumers control over their health data and allow them to share it with products and services that can support them in meeting their health and wellness goals.