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HHS Announces App Contest for Heart Disease Prevention

July 30, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently announced a mobile app development challenge to help consumers reduce their risk for heart disease by controlling their blood pressure and managing their cholesterol. The contest, the Million Hearts Risk Check Challenge, is looking for developers to create a mobile app that will help consumers take a heart health risk assessment, find places to get their blood pressure and cholesterol checked, and use the results to work with their health care professional to develop a plan to improve their heart health. 

The new app will be part of a broader education effort, the Million Hearts Initiative, a public-private effort of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) looking to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes through clinical and community prevention. The app program is co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

“This new challenge and the supporting consumer education campaign are examples of how new consumer health information technology, using information, data and electronic tools that many health care systems and physicians are already using, can help individuals better manage their health and working closely with their care providers,” Farzad Mostashari, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology said at an event in Tulsa, Okla.  

The winning app developer will receive $100,000 and up to five finalists will each receive $5,000. The challenge begins July 27 and the winners will be announced in December. More information about the challenge is available at http://challenge.gov/ONC/398-the-million-hearts-risk-check-challenge.

The decision support tool, Archimedes IndiGO, which aims to predict the risk of adverse health outcomes, and the benefit of adherence to medication and lifestyle changes, will be used in the winning app HHS says. It is the first time that IndiGO has been adapted to the API format for use by consumers.

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