Open Health Data Powers Healthy Access by Toothpick
Healthy Access is a scoring system developed by Toothpick.com, showing how easy it is to be healthy in different parts of England. Unlike other scores that show disease rates, life expectancy and other health outcomes, the score measures access and quality of services that allow you to stay healthy.
The Healthy Access Score provides a gauge on the relative ease of living a healthy life in different parts of England. Toothpick launched the project with the knowledge that prevention is key to solving our future health crisis, and that individuals making the right health decisions depend on the right services being available.
In its first phase, Healthy Access takes into account access to dentists, access to GPs, quality of hospitals, walking and cycling behaviour, and access to green space. The aim of the project is to provide a simple to use platform where local citizens can comment, reflect and influence decision makers in order to make sure that their local area offers the right provisions for them to stay healthy.
Healthy Access builds on a foundation of open available health data, with commercial enterprise level data layered in to complement the picture.
Data has been a hot topic in the health and digital health space for some time. We are now truly in the age of BIG data, which has become invaluable in helping organisations shape the future of healthcare. Data is no longer only an asset for the enterprise grade multi-national. In fact, as in Toothpick’s case as a data-led digital SME, they have collected the most comprehensive set of consumer and real-time dental data in the industry by monitoring their products over a four-year period. Toothpick team knows many other digital SMEs doing the same thing.
As well as being a visualisation of Open Data, Healthy Access is therefore also a platform for data-led organisations to partner with them and bring their expertise to the table. On the dentistry side Toothpick will incorporate a true real-time indicator of supply and demand data for each region, using their real-time feeds for over 3500 dentists in the UK and search behaviour data on Toothpick. DrDoctor has provided great data on access to hospitals. Patient.co.uk will provide trending healthcare topics per area, allowing them to paint a broader picture around a particular score.
Local authorities and like-minded organisations are urged to get involved by becoming content partners and displaying their local scores on their websites. Healthy Access wants to empower local organisations to use big data to enforce change. Any organisation or individual can download a banner showing their local Healthy Access Score, put it on their website and start the debate in their community.
Users are welcome to rate and comment on health in their area, giving them a forum to promote change.
Working with Digital Catapult has allowed Toothpick to create an engaging open data application, built on solid analysis from leading data scientists, and have it beautifully visualised in an engaging and understandable format. Toothpick would encourage anyone to take the opportunity to work with them and harness the vast reserves of open data available in the UK.
Their hope is that Healthy Access will mature into a trusted platform for feeling the pulse of the state of the nation’s health. Organisations already vocalising their support include Patient.co.uk and NHS Choices, along with local boroughs and councils.
To download and display your score, go to the Healthy Access website and follow the instructions: