Challenge & Event: Lyme Innovation

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates ~300,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the United States every year—more than HIV and invasive breast cancer diagnoses combined. Johns Hopkins University researchers estimated that the cost to U.S. tax payers is $1.3 billion dollars each year in direct medical costs (not accounting for lost wages, opportunity costs, or caregiver costs) due to inadequate and untimely treatment of Lyme disease. Both domestically and globally, Lyme disease is a public health threat.

In response to this challenge, new collaborations are forming. Patients and doctors are working together; government, academia, and non-profit organizations are launching efforts to advance Lyme disease awareness, science, and solutions. As one example, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation (VACI) and the Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network (Harvard Medical School) are leading #LymeInnovation hackathons to fuel Lyme Innovation in collaboration with the Open Medicine Institute (OMI), MIT Hacking Medicine, and Bay Area Lyme Foundation with subject matter experts as mentors from Columbia, Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford Universities. The purpose of this Lyme Innovation effort is to solve critical prevention, diagnostic, and treatment and rehabilitation challenges facing the Lyme disease field, while encouraging new collaborations and diverse researchers, innovators, and problem solvers to tackle the “wicked problems” surrounding Lyme disease today. More on the VACI website:

For the 2016 National Day of Civic Hacking, OMI is hosting a #LymeInnovation event in the Bay Area, California, on June 4th, to convene volunteers and innovators who are interested in defining key questions, priorities, and challenge prompts for a multi-day Lyme Innovation hackathon, June 17-19, in Cambridge, MA (see OMI is a dedicated to community-driven research with focus on crowdsourcing ideas using existing data sets from OMI’s OpenMedNet platform and other data sources, which have been collected and focus  them on practical application in health care for the 300,000+ patients annually who are diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Lyme is one of several “Invisible Illnesses” that needs more focused work to stem the suffering and improve patient outcomes. National Day of Civic Hacking outcomes will feed directly into the pipeline for solutions.

Think big. Help make the possible reality. Join us!

Imagine if, together, beginning today, we could collectively organize to turn Lyme Innovation hackathon projects into a Lyme Grand Challenge on the scale of the successful Ebola Grand Challenge and recently launched $30 million USAID Combatting Zika and Future Threats Grand Challenge for Development. Solutions are out there… so let’s get to work together on Lyme Innovation!

Share your ideas and virtually participate with the hashtag #LymeInnovation.

Join us and become part of the Lyme innovations and solutions on National Day of Civic Hacking! RSVP here to join OMI in Mountain View, CA, on June 4, 2016, 9:00am – 12:00pm.

Questions? Ask

Have something to submit to the challenge? Click here!

More National Day Challenges

We've prepared challenges focusing on digital government and helping out in your community. Jump in and start helping where you can. After National Day, we'll package everything together into a single document that tells the story of digital government services in America.