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NYeC Announces Statewide Patient Portal Design Challenge Winners

May 14, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) has made known the winners of its Design Challenge for the Patient Portal for New Yorkers, announcing that Mana Health placed first, iHealthNY second, and MyHealth Profile third and will be awarded $15,000, $7,500, and $2,500 respectively.

The Patient Portal for New Yorkers project is to build a website, through which New Yorkers across the state will be able to access all of their medical records from their various healthcare providers safely and securely. To create the most innovative and user-friendly portal design, NYeC launched a Design Challenge earlier this year, asking designers to submit portal prototypes. Then in April, the general public was asked to vote on which design submissions they liked best. Thousands of New Yorkers cast their votes and selected the nine remaining finalists.

Key features of the portal will allow patients to:

  • Easily access their healthcare records whenever they want them. For example, to find out when they started taking a particular medication, when they had their last tetanus shot, or to view recent lab results.
  • Share their records with providers—such as to get a second opinion on a diagnosis or share data from a specialist with their family doctor.
  • Select and control who is allowed to have access to their medical history.
  • Be more empowered in their healthcare management and better able to partner with doctors in their care.

“One of the most important achievements of the Challenge is that it engaged New Yorkers in this crucial discussion," David Whitlinger, executive director at the New York eHealth Collaborative, said in a statement. "The portal is about making a patient's data freely accessible to them so they can manage their own healthcare. It's about bringing power to the people of New York."

The finalist companies demonstrated their products to panels of expert judges at an event in New York City on April 30 and another in Buffalo on May 2 and the final winners were chosen. Judges included healthcare providers, hospital leadership, public advocates, entrepreneurs, public officials, IT experts, and industry leaders. The engaged audience encompassed a broad spectrum—patient advocates, technology specialists, representatives from regional health information organizations( RHIOs), small practice doctors, media, and members of the general public—and participated during question and answer sessions.

NYeC works closely with both the New York State Department of Health and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Patient Portal for New Yorkers builds upon the successful Blue Button initiative developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow veterans easy access to their healthcare data.

“The NYeC Design Challenge is proof that extraordinary things are possible when we leverage creative developers and designers and the preferences of end users,” Rebecca Mitchell Coelius, M.D., medical officer for innovation at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), and a judge on the Design Challenge panel, said in a statement.  "It’s exciting to see New York take the federal Blue Button initiative to the next level through its use of the patient portal. Well-designed and functional access to personal health data, and support for its export to other applications, is a huge step forward for patients in New York State and a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs."

NYeC will now begin building the portal and coordinate its function on top of the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY), a secure network for sharing clinical patient data across New York State via RHIOs.

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