The Health Data Liberator Award recognizes extraordinary contributions and leadership in the liberation of health data, helping to accelerate the pace and multiply the volume of data available to innovators in order to foster the creation of products and services to improve health and health care.

Who is a Data Liberator?

Put simply, Data Liberators leverage healthcare data for good. There are many kinds of liberators, including individuals who:

  • Drove, or successfully advocated for, the release of raw health data to improve health, health care and patient outcomes, or reduce costs or barriers to care.
  • Created, or successfully advocated for, new pathways for patient access to health data that had previously been difficult or impossible to get.
  • Conducted and released innovative studies powered by new or newly complete data or data that had traditionally been withheld.  
  • Leveraged existing and available data sources in entirely new, ingenious ways to generate both knowledge and solutions to improve health and health care delivery.
  • Created pathways for patients to collaborate in the generation, analysis and use of their own data sets.
  • Served as catalysts for other types of health data liberation and use, including the development of novel solutions, methods, applications and collaborations.

How are Nominations Judged?

Nominators will be asked for a narrative summary of how the nominated liberator addresses one or more of the criteria above, as well as samples that demonstrate the use, utility, endorsement or uptake of the work.

Judges will review each nomination to determine the liberator’s:

  • Overall contribution to improving the availability and use of data to improve health and health care impact on the open health data movement
    Did the nominee’s work have a "liberating" or "empowering" component that substantially changed the way people and policymakers used data to make health or health care decisions, lead to substantive improvements in access to data and information, or facilitate previously impossible innovations?
  • Professional contributions in open health data
    Has the liberator demonstrated a commitment to open health data and its facility to improve health and health care during the course of their career? Do their contributions over time constitute an unusual or extraordinary contribution to the spirit and practice of open health data innovation?
  • Contributions to building/supporting a robust health data community
    Did the liberator or the liberator’s work encourage collaboration or invite and nurture the engagement of diverse stakeholders, i.e. patients, consumers, researchers, health care providers, payers, public and private policymakers, etc. Did the liberator advance medical science, research or research methods using open health data?
  • Did the nominee overcome obstacles in order to create change for a public good?
    Were there entrenched interests or longstanding protocols that needed or had to be changed for the liberator’s work to succeed. Where there significant professional, societal or organizational risks to address?
  • Did it work?
    Did the liberator’s efforts improve health and health care in a measureable way? What are the outcomes of the effort?

For awards related questions, please contact Troi Jones.

Past Liberator Award Winners

  • 2019
    Robert Krughoff - Center for the Study of Services /Consumers’ Checkbook – Read Story
  • 2018
    Sarah Telford - OCHA’s Centre for Humanitarian Data; and
    Ahmadou Dicko - Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) Data Lab (Dakar) – Read Story
  • 2017
    Co-Founders Tom Delbanco and Jan Walker, and their colleagues - OpenNotes – Read Story
  • 2016
    Fred Trotter - Chief Technology Officer, CareSet Systems – Read Story

Hosted by the Health Data Consortium (HDC)

  • 2015
    Niall Brennan - President and CEO,  Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI)
  • 2014
    Charles Ornstein - Senior Editor, ProPublica
  • 2013
    Nirav Shah - Senior Scholar, Stanford University
HDP Liberator Award
2018 Data Liberator Award recipient Ahmadou Dicko of HDX Data Lab (Dakar)