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Health IT App Developers Win HHS Contest, Funding

January 4, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The U.S. Department of Healthcare and Human Services has announced the winners of its public data and cancer challenge, which asked contestants to create health IT applications that use public data and existing technology to help patients and health care professionals prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancer.

The two winners presented their submissions at a symposium today at the Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences and were each awarded $20,000 by the Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).  The two winning applications included Ask Dory! – submitted by Chintan Patel, Ph.D.; Sharib Khan, M.D., M.A., M.P.H.; and Aamir Hussain of Applied Informatics LLC and My Cancer Genome – submitted by Mia Levy, Ph.D., M.D., of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Ask Dory! aims to help patients find information about clinical trials for cancer and other diseases, integrating data from and making use of an entropy-based, decision-tree algorithm.  My Cancer Genome aims to provide therapeutic options based on the individual patient’s tumor gene mutations, making use of the NCI’s physician data query clinical trial registry data set and information on genes being evaluated in therapeutic clinical trials. 

The challenge was launched this summer in support of ONC’s Investing in Innovation (i2) program, which utilizes prizes and challenges to facilitate innovation and obtain solutions to intractable health IT problems. The i2 is the first federal program to operate under the authority of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act.



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