Cancer information tool for journalists wins Health 2.0 developer challenge

Health Communication Research Laboratory’s Ozioma generates localized cancer reports for specific populations

Health 2.0 and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently named Ozioma, an online cancer information tool from the Health Communication Research Laboratory (HCRL) at Washington University in St. Louis, one of two winners of a national contest.

The Ozioma News Service was chosen a winner of the Enabling Community Use of Data for Cancer Prevention and Control Challenge, a part of the 2010 Health 2.0 Developer Challenge.

The Ozioma tool helps reporters and media relations professionals create localized cancer stories for specific populations in specific communities.

View a brief video about Ozioma.

“For those who write about and report on health, providing a central location to access community-level health data can increase the likelihood that they’ll include these data in their stories,” says Charlene A. Caburnay, PhD, research assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University.

“The news stories would be more relevant to readers, and can increase the community-level impact of these data,” Caburnay says.

Ozioma, a Nigerian word for “good news,” offers fast and easy access to data from 40 sources such as NCI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, and more than 200 datasets, including cancer surveillance, risk factors and health policies.

Search results appear in plain language and in sentence format that can be added to any story. Writers also have access to an image library and a chart generator that will display the requested information in chart format.

Visit for more information.

The 2010 Health 2.0 Developer Challenge was launched on June 2, 2010, at the Community Health Data Initiative meeting (CHDI) at the Institute of Medicine, with support from the Department of Health and Human Services. Initiated in March 2010, CHDI hoped to ignite innovation using newly opened government data sets.

The winners of this challenge were awarded a trip to and a speaking role at the 2011 Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences in Koloa, Kauai.

About HCRL

The Health Communication Research Laboratory at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis seeks to eliminate health disparities by increasing the reach and effectiveness of health information to low-income and minority populations. The HCRL is one of five Centers of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research in the United States. Visit for more information.

About Health 2.0

The Health 2.0 Conference is the leading showcase of cutting-edge technologies in health care, including online communities, search and lightweight tools for consumers to manage their health and connect to providers online. The next Health 2.0 conference is Oct. 7-8, 2011, in San Francisco, the culmination of Health Innovation Week. For more information, see

About NCI

NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was established by Congress in 1937 and is the leading federal agency and the world’s largest organization solely dedicated to cancer-related research (including health communication and informatics), training, and dissemination of information. As the leader of the National Cancer Program, NCI also provides vision and leadership to the global cancer community. For more information, see