Finalist in a Health 2.0 Developer Challenge to create user flows, wireframes, and visual designs for an app to help patients find the most affordable and safe hospital for medical procedures.
When the City of Minneapolis said it was too cost-prohibitive to post restaurant health code violation data online, I got the data and wrote an app overnight to search for violations.
For the National Day of Civic Hacking, I created an app that sends you a text message if your car gets towed by the City of Chicago.
I was one of the winners of a challenge to redesign a front-end prototype for a new patient-facing medical record.
I built an app that sends you suggestions of healthier restaurants to eat at based on your geographical check-ins.
‘Open data’ is the concept of government agencies sharing their legally-public datasets with the people who pay for those datasets to exist: the taxpayers. Whenever I explain the concept of ‘open data’, I like to give examples of things in our everyday lives that wouldn’t be possible without open data. “We must use all available technologies […]
If you do a Google Images search for “North Minneapolis”, you’ll find images of men bloodied by gang violence, slumlord-owned houses in incredible disrepair, police tape next to expended rounds, and a mother hysterically crying over the loss of her child. These images aren’t a fair representation of the strong families, rich history, and beautiful tree-lined streets […]
Everyone is a user of health care. The legislative intent of the Affordable Care Act was to ensure coverage for everyone, which means MNsure’s technology and processes must be usable and accessible by everyone — regardless of user needs, values, culture, abilities, or limitations.
Designers, developers, researchers, and medical professionals collaborated to build innovative apps for patient empowerment.
It seems at time that open government laws and individual privacy are mutually exclusive and laws are full of conditions and exceptions. I think we should consider whether or not data is generated about an individual on a voluntary versus involuntary basis.
So, you have a bunch of scanned data and you want to get it into a machine-readable format, and OCR is giving you awful and inconsistent results. Here’s how to use Mechanical Turk to get those records digitized — it’s automated, human OCR.
Until every campaign finance disclosure agency requires and releases electronic campaign finance data, candidates should voluntarily release electronic, machine-readable data in the interests of transparency and accountability.
IFTTT is one of my absolute favorite web services that makes life better and easier. It works like this: you setup channels that contain data — for example, your Gmail or foursquare account, the weather, the time, or an RSS feed. Based on the data in those channels, you setup condition-based recipes that contain triggers. For example: […]
The City couldn’t get food code violation data online due to technical constraints — just open up the data and civic-minded developers will come running to help solve problems. We’re on the same team, so please don’t make developers fight for data!
I built an app that texts you if your car gets towed in Chicago, giving you the address of the impound lot. I could only do that because the City of Chicago opened their data. Sadly, government agencies not opening their data resulted in a lot of brilliant ideas going unexecuted. Innovation doesn’t happen behind closed doors and in closed datasets.
Healthcare is moving to a model where patients own their data in real-time. If drivers had some control over their DMV data and a live look at how it’s being used, it could cut back on identity theft, data misuse and invasion of privacy lawsuits, and save a whole lot of taxpayer money.
Law enforcement is tweeting the name of every DWI arrest. Even though the data is public under the law, reactions are passionate and mixed — revealing that there’s a big difference between public data and published data.
A New York paper took down a map of where gun permit holders reside. Who is responsible for drawing the line on where individual privacy meets the legislative intent of sunshine laws?
Silicon Valley tends to ignore people who don’t live and breathe Internet innovation, but everyone is a consumer of healthcare, government, and other large industries. Think about the users you don’t want to think about, and don’t dismiss technology non-adopters as outliers — they probably aren’t.
Aaron Swartz was driven to take his own life following vicious prosecution for allegedly stealing academic articles. The state of computer crime and IP laws is un-American, and it’s time to stand up on behalf of Aaron’s legacy to do something about it.
Mugshot websites are an abuse of open records laws and a grimace to the legislative intent of transparency and accountability. These sites jeopardize individual privacy to make money.
The USPS has no shortage of budget concerns, so why don’t we invest in an opt-in nationwide web app that manages our mail?
It’s easier to obtain and share veterinary records than it is personal medical records. If we opened that up, we could see automated guidance, patient empowerment, care engagement and improved outcomes.
Do good for others by registering as a donor, swabbing with the NMDP, donating blood, and do good for yourself with an advance healthcare directive, revocable living trust, and life insurance.
“The social web is great at spreading meaningless drivel,” says Dr. Jay Parkinson, dismissing the idea of Quantified Self for the masses. I’ve seen millions of database records generated by such meaningless social information, and there is indeed relevance to be found.
I won an impromptu overnight web challenge to create a Twilio-powered app to help veterans find jobs. I created HeroJobs, which notifies users of new veteran-committed job postings related to their military occupation.
Lots of forces are aligning in Minneapolis, and I’m excited at anything that hints of a future of startup investment and hacking values.
A Chrome extension I co-authored to raise awareness to companies that support the SOPA and PIPA legislation reached 24,000 users and was covered by Forbes, Lifehacker and BetaBeat.
Amazon Web Services has added server-side encryption for data in S3 buckets, which is attractive for enterprise, healthcare and government. Sadly, Amazon holds onto the encryption keys.
Government 2.0 innovation keeps happening around the end points (reporting) and not the center (the data) — which means that all these otherwise awesome citizen reporting apps end up filling municipal workers’ email boxes or going to die in a spreadsheet somewhere. How about exploring government technology from the inside-out?
I was a finalist at the foursquare global API hackathon with an app that helps you find healthier eating options.
Aaron Swartz is an all-around genius — he co-authored the RSS specification when he was 14 years old, sold his blogging platform company to Reddit, and is now the director of non-profit political action committee Demand Progress. On Tuesday, he was charged with violating federal hacking laws for allegedly breaking into a network and downloading millions […]