Data.gov opened in May 2009 as an important new open government initiative, offering “to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.”
This week, Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services, introduced a new health community on data.gov. Health.data.gov (a/k/a HealthData.gov) is designed to be a clearinghouse for open federal health-related datasets from a wide variety of agencies, including the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Food & Drug Administration, the National Library of Medicine, and more.
These datasets represent a potential goldmine for researchers in many areas of health and health services. The tools collected at health.data.gov also include APIs (application programming interfaces) created by the National Library of Medicine that allow programmers to create new and useful tools that leverage the valuable data from federal services like ClinicalTrials.gov and MedlinePlus.gov in new and innovative ways.