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What’s New in Civic Tech: Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge

Plus, a Los Angeles official calls for a data-driven approach to homeless outreach; NASCIO announces the finalists for its 2019 State IT Recognition Awards; and Louisville, Ky., repairs roads after Google Fiber’s exit.

by / August 29, 2019

Ohio has announced this year’s prize recipients for its Opioid Technology Challenge, an event that calls on companies, scientists, health-care institutions and concerned citizens to help address the country’s opioid crisis with tech.

The event — now in its third year — drew hundreds of responses, with 12 submissions ultimately receiving funding to advance their ideas earlier this year. Now, the pool of projects has been narrowed to four winners, with ideas that include improving health care for newborns exposed to opioids, as well as developing a better system for hospitals to manage opioid prescriptions. Each of the prize winners receives $1 million in funding for their project.

The four prize recipients are as follows: University Hospitals in Cleveland, which developed the aforementioned system to help hospitals manage opioid prescriptions; DynamiCare Health in Boston, which has created an app that gives people in recovery more tools and resources that can be used to stay sober; Prapela, which is also in Boston and created the aforementioned product to soothe babies born with opioid addiction by using random vibrations from a mattress called stochastic vibrotactile simulation; and Brave, which is based in Vancouver, Canada, and has built a platform that gives real-time overdose interventions via apps and wearable technology. 

More information about the challenge is available here

Los Angeles Controller Calls for Data-Driven Approach to Homeless Outreach

The Los Angeles Controller’s Office has released a new report calling for a “proactive, data-driven strategy” for homeless outreach, officials announced this week in a press release.

The report specifically addresses the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s (LAHSA) city outreach program. LAHSA is a joint city-county powers authority, and it oversees resource coordination and management for more than 54,000 homeless people in the Los Angeles area. Dubbed Strategy on the Streets, the new report sees Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin suggesting a data-driven way for the city and LAHSA to enhance the homeless outreach efforts.

The crux of it is that the controller’s office recommends a shift from reactive to proactive, one that it suggests can be accomplished by the creation of a new system called HomeSTAT, which would be a data-driven platform similar to others used by jurisdictions elsewhere. 

“HomeSTAT would reshape homeless outreach in L.A. by enabling LAHSA to collect real-time data and use it to evaluate performance and make informed decisions about resource allocation moving forward,” the controller’s office wrote in its press release. “While City departments collect data on homeless encampments and a variety of other things, there is currently no data-driven program to inform proactive outreach decisionmaking for LAHSA.”

A full version of the Strategy on the Streets report can be found here.

NASCIO Announces Finalists for 2019 NASCIO State IT Recognition Awards

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) has named 30 finalists across 10 categories for its annual State IT Recognition Awards.

The list comes after more than 130 submissions were made to the contest, for which projects and initiatives by NASCIO members are eligible for nomination. These award nominations showcase the many different ways that states and territories across the country are using IT to tackle critical challenges, to connect citizens with government, to improve business processes, or simply to improve the lives of their citizens.

A recipient from each category will net an award at the NASCIO Annual Conference in Nashville come October. 

A full list of nominees can be found below: 

Business Process Innovations

State of Michigan: JobNet: Road to the Future
State of North Carolina: Modernizing Estuarine Habitat Mapping with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
State of Tennessee: MHSAS’ Electronic Clinical Record, Using IT to Provide Better Patient Care

Cross-Boundary Collaboration & Partnerships

State of Georgia: Georgia Cyber Center
State of Indiana: Connecting Indiana’s Medicaid and Corrections Data to Improve Hoosier Health
State of North Carolina: Improving Emergency Response Precision with the State Emergency Response Application


State of Iowa: Election Cybersecurity Partnership Project
State of Ohio: Digital Identity: Providing a Secure Customer Experience
State of Texas: Managed Security Services – Provided by Texas for Texas Governments

Data Management, Analytics & Visualization

State of Connecticut: Cross Agency Data Sharing to Drive Value and Save Money
State of Illinois: Winning Against Tax Fraud with Data Analytics
State of Utah: Intergenerational Poverty Initiative Data Driven Solutions

Digital Government: Government to Business

State of Minnesota: Preparing for Emergencies: Medical PreCheck & Locator App
State of North Carolina: Improving Health Outcomes Through the State Health Information Exchange
State of Tennessee: Rip, Replace, Revitalize! Project TR3

Digital Government: Government to Citizen

State of North Carolina: Women, Infants and Children Benefits in the Mobile Application Age
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Child Support Enforcement System (PACSES) and JobGateway Integration Initiative
State of Tennessee: TennCare Connect: A Multi-Channel Gateway Elevating the Member Experience

Emerging & Innovative Technologies

State of New Jersey: Integrated Drug Awareness Dashboard (IDAD)
State of Tennessee: Halt, Who Goes There? Tennessee’s Facial Recognition System (FRS) Project
State of Washington: Using UAS Technology in Collision and Crime Scene Reconstruction

Enterprise IT Management Initiatives

State of Arizona: Building the Governance Model
State of California: Examination and Certification Online System (ECOS)
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania IT and HR Shared Services Transformation

Information Communications Technology (ICT) Innovations 

State of California: Identification and Removal of Hazardous Materials During Wildfire Response
State of Georgia: Mobile Field Data Collection for Food Emergency Response
State of Oklahoma: Oklahoma Videoconferencing Solution Saves Time for Citizens and State Employees

State CIO Office Special Recognition

State of California: Licensing Medicinal Adult-Use Cannabis
State of Idaho: Instant Invoice Payments by Text Message and/or Email
​State of Washington: Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System

Louisville, Ky., Repairs Roads After Google Fiber Exit

According to reports from local media, Louisville, Ky., is currently repairing roads and other infrastructure in need after Google Fiber made its exit from the market earlier this year. 

Google Fiber announced in February that it would be leaving the market, at the same time noting it would be giving the public sector in the area $3.84 million to fix rights of way damaged in its exit. Those repairs are happening now, and they include fixing the trail of fiber cables, sealant and shallow trenching the tech giant left behind. 

These repairs are expected to conclude within the next three months.

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Zack Quaintance Assistant News Editor

Zack Quaintance is the assistant news editor for Government Technology. His background includes writing for daily newspapers across the country and developing content for a software company in Austin, Texas. He is now based in Washington, D.C. He can be reached via email.

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