OpenFDA issues challenge to developers

FDA Chief Health Informatics Officer Taha Kass-Hout wrote that it's an effort to urge developers to explore the adverse events, recalls and drug labeling data sets.


The Food and Drug Administration announced a new challenge meant to encourage developers to take advantage of openFDA, a public data project the agency unveiled nearly a year ago. It’s the agency’s first challenge to center on openFDA.

In a blog post last week, FDA Chief Health Informatics Officer Taha Kass-Hout outlined two research challenge categories for developers using openFDA: adverse events and spikes, and structure product label and language. Each challenge has three levels.

“Start with level 1 and see how far you can get,” Kass-Hout said in the post.


OpenFDA, the brainchild of Kass-Hout, provides application programming interfaces, or APIs, that make it easier to gather relevant data sets about drugs, devices and foods. Kass-Hout told FedScoop earlier this year that dozens of apps that have already developed around the APIs.

In the blog post, Kass-Hout encouraged participants to tweet @openFDA using the hashtag #openFDAchallenge to say what they’re working on. He also notes that participants can post questions to Q-and-A website StackEnchange about the challenge.

Developers should post a link to their finished projects on openFDA’s page of the user-driven news site Reddit.

The agency plans to issue a consumer challenge the week of May 25.

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