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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross sponsors Philly Health Codefest April 5-7

More than 130 software developers compete in marathon coding session to solve health care problems

Philadelphia, PA - April 5, 2013 - Independence Blue Cross (IBC) is pleased to sponsor Drexel University’s Philly Health Codefest, a two-day marathon coding competition that brings together innovative thinkers and programmers from across the nation to solve health care problems through data. This is the first codefest committed to health care solutions in Philadelphia.

More than 130 coders, including professional softwear developers and designers, students, health care leaders, educators, and entrepreneurs, will break into teams and compete from Friday, April 5 at 6 p.m. to Sunday, April 7 at 6 p.m. Each team will receive public data sets, including information focused on community health, food and nutrition, and clinical trials. The teams will identify a health-related problem and analyze the data to devise a proposed solution.

Coding sessions like this are gaining in popularity, and hundreds of codeathons are held throughout the country each year to develop innovative software applications. For the past three years the Department of Health and Human Services, through its Health Data Initiative, has focused on making data more accessible without jeopardizing privacy regulations to improve health care for consumers and communities.

Beginning Sunday, April 7 at 2 p.m., each team will present their solutions — in the form of new approaches, algorithms, or tools for accessing and using health information — to a group of judges from various health-related fields, including representatives from Independence Blue Cross, Elsevier, Global Summit, Strategic Medicine Inc, DreamIt Health, and the National Research Council of Italy. The prize pool — over $17,000 — includes awards in the following areas: Innovation,  Best Mobile, Most Scalable, and a $2,000 Health Library Innovation prize. Winners of the lead prizes will have the opportunity to discuss their innovations with leading venture capitalists and leaders of business accelerators.

“Independence Blue Cross is dedicated to supporting the area’s entrepreneurial community. We are equally committed to providing corporate leadership and building partnerships to help establish the Philadelphia region as a magnet nationally for health care technology innovation,” said Michael Vennera, IBC vice president of Strategy and Innovation. “We’re very excited to be part of Drexel’s Codefest and to help guide many of the brightest minds in the region as they work to solve some of our thorniest health care problems.”

“Drexel is proud to have Independence Blue Cross sponsor the first Philly Health Codefest. IBC’s sponsorship directly supports Codefest attendees who will be working together to create real-world, innovative solutions to address major health challenges in the Philadelphia region,” says David E. Fenske, dean of The iSchool, College of Information Science and Technology at Drexel University.

About Independence Blue Cross
Proudly celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2013, Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve more than seven million people nationwide. We are enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we’re changing the game, visit Connect with us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Media contact:

Ruth Stoolman

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