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ONC Awards Winners in Patient Health Data Access App Contest

ONC's app development challenge brought participants working to improve patient health data access through various engagement strategies.

By Sara Heath

- The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has announced its Phase 1 winners for an app challenge. This challenge prompted participants to develop apps to improve patient health data access on mobile devices.

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ONC selected four winners in the first phase of the contest, each with a different approach to improving patients’ access to their health information.

The first app, coming from Green Circle Health, provides a family health interface using FHIR standards. This dashboard covers the full Common Clinical Data Set. As the developers move forward in creating the app, they will incorporate patient-generated health data features from wearables and other mobile health devices.

The second app also focuses on presenting family health information and facilitates health information exchange. Created by HealthCentrix, the Prevvy Family Health Assistant utilizes FHIR standards and secure direct messaging in order to help boost patient engagement.

The third app, created by Medyear, allows an individual patient to aggregate all of their health data from various sources into one single interface. By allowing patients to scroll through a feed of health information updated in real time, this app boosts patient-centered care and care coordination.

The final app also integrates all of a patient’s health data, allowing for them to coordinate their own healthcare. The Locket App, developed by Metro Star Systems, also incorporates elements of online appointment scheduling and paperless check-in.

The competition, announced during the 2016 HIMSS conference, challenged participants to develop these apps incorporating FHIR because its standards make it easier to transfer health data between mobile device apps and EHRs. This helps patients access their health data more robustly across different technologies.

According to ONC executives, such requirements helped shape high-level submissions to the competition, ideally inspiring more “real-world” IT solutions.

“It is exciting to see the level of innovation that is taking place in health IT today,” said Vindell Washington, MD, principal deputy national coordinator, when announcing the winners at an event yesterday. “The apps that these challenges will produce have the potential to spur real-world improvements for individuals and clinicians throughout the health system.”

In the same address, ONC announced its winners to a related competition to improve provider and user experience with EHRs. These apps centered on provider navigation of EHRs.

One app, created by Herald Health, helps providers focus on only the most pertinent of patient data. Two others – one from PHRASE Health and another from the University of Utah Health Care, Intermountain Healthcare, and Duke Health System – focuses on clinical decision support.

Overall, both the patient-centered and user-centered contests aim at boosting patient care by contributing to the growing healthcare technology industry.

The next phase of the competition involved the actual creation of each app. The winners of Phase 1, as well as others who may not have submitted to the first leg of this contest, are welcome to participate in this second round.

Submissions are due by November 7, 2016. ONC plans on awarding a grand prize winner, a second prize winner, and an “Ultimate Connector” winner in either challenge, with prize values adding up to $100,000.

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