Wednesday, February 16, 2011

HHS Launches HIW

HHS now has a new web portal to provide health and healthcare indicator data to support innovations in information technology. The Health Indicators Warehouse (HIW) contains a collection of health indicators along with new web 2.0 technologies that supports automated data services through Application Programming Interfaces (API). The health indicator data sets and the web tools provided by the warehouse are expected to support technology development leading to a wide array of application (apps) and data services.

HWI has a collection of health indicators obtained from a wide array of HHS data sources that support researchers, technology developers, and policymakers. Health indicators are measurable characteristics that describe the health of a population (life expectancy, mortality, disease incidence or prevalence), determinants of health (health behaviors, risk factors, physical environments, and socioeconomic environments) and health care access in terms of cost, quality, and use.

The purpose of the HIW is to:

• Promote a single user friendly source for national, state, and community health indicators
• Meet the needs of multiple population health initiatives
• Facilitate harmonization of indicators across initiatives
• Link indicators with evidence-based interventions
• Serve as the data hub for the HHS Community Health Data Initiative

HIW is maintained by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Data support and funding is provided by CMS, HHS Office of Deputy Secretary, Office of Adolescent Health, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of Minority Health, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, and HRSA. New partners and new indicators will be added over time.

Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer at HHS, said, “We recognize that one of the keys to better health and healthcare is data-driven decision-making at all levels and the HWI will help to remove the barriers for technology development.”

For more information, go to