Development of an Application Program Interface to Leverage Data Projects

ProPublica is an award-winning nonprofit investigative newsroom and an innovator in data journalism and multimedia content. The Rita Allen Foundation previously supported ProPublica’s efforts to expand its multimedia capabilities. Now, a new grant will enable ProPublica to create tools for mobile app developers to access its valuable health databases. These databases include Dollars for Docs, a log of payments to physicians from pharmaceutical and medical device companies; Treatment Tracker, a collection of information on Medicare reimbursements for various health services; and Surgeon Scorecard, a record of death and complication rates for eight elective procedures. Together, ProPublica’s health-related apps have been viewed nearly 25 million times on its website, empowering consumers to make informed decisions about their health care. The new data-access tools will extend the reach of these apps and create new potential revenue sources to support ProPublica’s public interest journalism. The development of these mobile tools will serve as a model for future work to expand access to ProPublica’s reporting on education, politics and other vital topics.