The Princeton, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has announced an Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) $100,000 “app challenge,” competition among technology developers to create easy-to-use online tools that help consumers find information on the quality of their local physicians and hospitals.
The challenge will allow competing developers to create applications for various devices including smartphones or iPads that will allow consumers to easily access and experience comparative information about the quality of care provided in various regions of the country. Data to fuel the app will come from RWJF’s Aligning Forces for Quality initiative, the Foundation’s signature effort to improve the quality of health care in 16 targeted communities nationwide.
Aligning Forces community alliances have already developed publicly available online reports that provide information about the quality of care delivered in their local communities. Reports include quality measures for care delivered for conditions such as diabetes – like whether patients were given the tests and procedures that medical evidence shows is best for their condition – and the safety of local hospitals. Participating developers will help make the consumer experience with these existing data more dynamic, interactive and consumer-friendly than when information is simply displayed on a website.
The Aligning Forces app challenge will be conducted in two phases. Phase one is an open challenge for interested developer teams to create and submit new applications using Aligning Forces data. In phase two, the developer teams will work with AF4Q communities to further refine their applications with independent judges, including leaders and patients from Aligning Forces communities, selecting finalist developers from phase one contestants. The developer of the winning app will receive $100,000. The second place winner will receive $25,000, and the third place winner will be awarded $5,000.