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ONC Announces Phase 2 Winners of Consumer, Provider App Challenges

January 12, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today announced the Phase 2 winners for the Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge and the Provider User Experience Challenge. 

ONC designed these challenges last year to "spur the development of market-ready applications that would enable consumers and providers to aggregate health data from different sources into one secure, user-friendly product."

Challenge submissions were required to use Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and open application programming interfaces (APIs), which are both strongly supported by ONC. Phase 1 winners of the challenges were announced last summer; applicants were required to submit a series of plans for their proposed apps, including designs or screenshots, technical specifications, business/sustainability plans, and proposed provider and/or electronic health record (EHR) vendor partners to test their work. Both challenges then moved Phase 2, where the apps themselves were evaluated.

The Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge asked submitters to address a need that many consumers have today—the ability to easily and electronically access and securely integrate their health data from different health care providers using a variety of different health IT systems.

PatientLink Enterprises won first place and the $50,000 prize. Its solution, MyLinks, is a cloud-based application that aims to make it easy to gather, manage, and share patient data using several methods including FHIR and Direct messaging. Using the app, patients can also participate in research, monitor data from remote devices, and use interactive tools.

The second place and “connector” prizes, each with an award amount of $25,000, were won by Green Circle Health.  This application uses FHIR to import patient data into a platform integrating a comprehensive family health dashboard that includes personal and medical device data, remote monitoring, and reminders.

Also, the 1upHealth, which helps patients organize and share data from disparate sources, is being recognized as an honorable mention.

Meanwhile, the Provider User Experience Challenge focused on demonstrating how data made accessible to apps through APIs can enhance healthcare providers’ use of their EHR systems by making clinical workflows more efficient and intuitive.

The first place prize, with an award amount of $50,000, was won by Herald Health. Its solution helps clinicians manage the overwhelming flow of alerts and information by allowing them to create highly customizable push notifications. These can be tailored to both individual patients and groups and exported to fellow users.

The second place and “connector” prizes, each with an award amount of $25,000, were won by the collaboration of University of Utah Health Care, Intermountain Healthcare, and Duke Health. Their solution is a clinical decision support tool that can provide recommendations for the treatment of babies with jaundice detected at birth based on the level of liver waste products found in their blood.

In addition, PHRASE Health, which uses clinical decision support to help clinicians align with priorities such as public health alerts, is being recognized as an honorable mention.

“We are thrilled to recognize new tools that make it easier for individuals and clinicians to access health information and put it to use,” Vindell Washington, M.D., National Coordinator for Health IT, sand in a statement. “These apps reflect the incredible progress that is possible as a result of the digital health infrastructure that the public and private sector have built together over the last eight years.”

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