Cancer Information Tool Wins Health 2.0 Developer Challenge

Jessica Martin


Jan. 24, 2011 – Health 2.0 and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently named Ozioma, an online cancer information tool from the Health Communication Research Laboratory (HCRL) at Washington University and the Siteman Cancer Center, one of two winners of a national contest.

The Ozioma News Service was chosen a winner of the Enabling Community Use of Data for Cancer Prevention and Control Challenge, a part of the 2010 Health 2.0 Developer Challenge.

The Ozioma tool helps reporters and media relations professionals create localized cancer stories for specific populations in specific communities. (View a brief video.

“For those who write about and report on health, providing a central location to access community-level health data can increase the likelihood that they’ll include these data in their stories,” says Charlene Caburnay, PhD, research assistant professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. “The news stories would be more relevant to readers and can increase the community-level impact of these data.”

Ozioma, a Nigerian word for “good news,” offers fast and easy access to data from 40 sources, including the NCI, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Institutes of Health, as well as more than 200 datasets containing information on cancer surveillance, risk factors and health policies.

Search results appear in plain language and in sentence format that can be added to any story. Writers also have access to an image library and a chart generator that will display the requested information in chart format.

The 2010 Health 2.0 Developer Challenge was launched on June 2, 2010, at the Community Health Data Initiative (CHDI) meeting at the Institute of Medicine, with support from the Department of Health and Human Services. Initiated in March 2010, CHDI hoped to ignite innovation using newly opened government data sets.

The winners of this challenge were awarded a trip to and a speaking role at the 2011 Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences in Koloa, Hawaii.