Relevant Evidence to Advance Care and Health (REACH)

Submission Deadline

Submissions are Closed


Challenge Team


  • First Prize $5,000 PLUS two representatives* from the winning team will receive travel support to attend a private meeting where they will have an opportunity to workshop their application with health policy thought leaders in conjunction with the AcademyHealth National Health Policy Conference (NHPC)
  • First Prize, and the two Runners-Up Two members from each of the top 3 teams (6 participants total) will receive travel support to AcademyHealth's 2012 Annual Research Meeting (ARM) in Orlando, Florida where they will have an opportunity to showcase their submissions.

Note: For each team, travel support must be used to cover participation of 1 representative from the research community and 1 representative from the developer community.

First Place

Real-time Care Experience Feedback Using QR Codes

Real-time Care Experience Feedback Using QR Codes logo

Team Members

Deirdre McCaughey, Dominique LaRochelle, Aamer Ghaffer, Tejal Raichura, Shantanu Dholakia, Latoya Tatum, and Ashley Kimmel

Real-time Care Experience Feedback Using QR Codes looked at ways that patients could provide feedback using their mobile phones at the point of care. This product has several important features: QR codes are location aware and can be scanned by user smartphones; feedback light uses color-coded 2D QR codes for immediate feedback; user is directed to quality of service, level appropriate questions; negative feedback responses are immediately forwarded to designated personnel; and all feedback is available via a web reporting interface and as CSV downloads.


Child & Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative’s WellVisitPlanner Mobile App

Child & Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative’s WellVisitPlanner Mobile App logo

Team Members

Christina Bethell, Kasey McCracken, Samantha Simmons, Richard LeDonne, and Lewis Notestine

The WellVisitPlanner app contains an embedded database with questions about the child's and family's health, and a set of priorities that may be important to the parent, which are selected prior to the visit. These questions and priorities were developed in concert with providers working in the field, and according to Bright Futures Recommendations. The provider and parent use the visit guide for context to enhance communication and engagement.


Aggregated Self-Experiments

Aggregated Self-Experiments logo

Team Members

Ian Eslick, David Fore, Eden D'Ambrosio, Pratik Pramanik, and Keith Marsolo

The self-experiment, a type of single-subject (N-of-1) trial, can quantify the effectiveness of a lifestyle intervention for one patient. The patient’s challenge is deciding which of many possible experiments to try given the information available. A recommender system aggregates experimental outcomes and background information from many patients to recommend experiments for each individual.


Relevant Evidence to Advance Care and Health (REACH) – Enabling Access to Relevant, Timely, and Useful Information to Improve Health and Health Care

Challenge Goal:

Create an innovative application that provides high-quality, evidence-based, and useful information building on data generated in the process of care. Examples include applications that 1) help patients engage more fully in their health or health care, 2) help support caregivers, and/ or 3) help clinicians to deliver better care.


The challenges of translating evidence for providers and patients are well-known (cite press citing studies). However, there is emerging evidence that mobile devices (and other technologies) coupled with innovative applications have the potential to enhance stakeholders’ understanding of health-related information. For example, demonstrating important issues in population health (e.g., flu outbreaks) by improving visual display of information (e.g., hot spot maps). The REACH Challenge is designed to produce innovative applications that generate results for patients, caregivers, and / or clinicians by providing them with access to evidence-based and relevant information to support more meaningful engagement and real-time decisions.

The availability of a secure, open-access platforms for messaging offers important opportunities to exchange useful information via new channels. By using these opportunities to share information across care settings – and directly with patients and other relevant community members, exchange tools can have a tremendous impact on health and health care.

Participants should think creatively about the types of personal health information that could be sent by secure message via an open platform such as NHIN Direct, and consider ways in which individual data can be presented and “mashed” with other sources of information to create a useful and engaging, application for patients, caregivers, and / or providers. Participants are encouraged to develop applications that are easily transferable and accessible to a broad range of users. They also are advised to consider the ways in which data and applications may evolve over time as the volume and variety of data available increases.


Applicants must demonstrate the capacity to appropriately integrate health and health-related data using an open secure messaging platform such as NHIN Direct. Approaches that integrate data from multiple sources (e.g., mash-ups) are encouraged.

For More Information / Research:

Are you a Developer Looking to Find a Team to Join? Researchers want to work with you! Here are some Academic Proposals still looking for Developers!

Aggregated Self-Experiments: We propose a tool that helps users record and share their experiences as structured self-experiments. The self-experiment, a type of single-subject (N-of-1) trial, can quantify the effectiveness of a lifestyle intervention for one patient.

State Health Policy App: An App based on a glossary of health policy terms, linking to evidence-based data sources to provide a deeper level of understanding.

Prostate Cancer – Trusted Options: App providing unbiased recommendations and options that benefit both the primary care physician (and ensure that he or she can give credible advice at low cost and effort) and the patient, and the payor (who can be assured that evidence-based care is being delivered).

Using Facial Recognition Technology and the iPad2 to Objectively Detect Functional Status: Application which leverages current iPad2 functionality (i.e., dual cameras and Wi-Fi + 3G) and uses facial recognition technology can be the first step toward developing technologies that objectively and reliability captures and quantifies a person’s mood, cognitive or functional state.

Clinical Literature Mapping: Create a clinical research mapping application that will: Search and create a large set of literature relating to the specific disease, extract and categorize literature by like concepts into hierarchically organized folders, and transform a seemingly complex set of literature into a hierarchy of common themes and displays them in a visual two dimensional landscape map for review.

QR Codes for Real-time Patient Experience Feedback: Develop hospital specific Quick Response (QR) codes for inpatient and outpatient service areas to allow patients/customers to provide structured feedback on their care experience at the time service is rendered.

Smart Elder Engagement: Promote patient activation to improve adherence of physician-prescribed management programs resulting in effective co-management of diabetes within a select population though smartphone technology.

Child Health Data: Develop a mobile application providing point and click access to both micro and macro data from two large federally funded, national and state level surveys on child, adolescent and family health and health systems quality and performance, based on

There is a Price: An application for people with diabetes and heart disease — two of he most common chronic conditions — that presents retail pricing information for commonly-used products and services, based on the publicly-available Medicare reimbursement fee schedule.

Applying Natural Language Processing in Health Information Exchanges to Improve HEDIS Comprehensive Diabetes Eye Care Measure Documentation: Apply Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to unstructured text through the EHR user interface to inform primary care providers (PCP) of appropriate documentation of eye examination requirements for improving compliance as set forth by HEDIS requirements for DM care. This could be accomplished via a provider-facing application that displays relevant information (e.g. alerts) within the EHR.

Lack of Cyber-infrastructure for the Health Research Community: A Proposal for Expanding Collaboration: Develop a platform that organizes pre-defined RSS feeds for different research disciplines.

Blood Streamer: Help medical emergency victims such as accident victims to receive blood immediately by contacting registered donors in the vicinity.

KnowBeforeYouGo This proposal is to create a mobile application, platform agnostic, that provides three tiers of information designed to enhance patient preparedness and engagement at their healthcare visits.

WellVisitPlanner The WVP app is envisioned to be a mobile app version of an existing parent engagement tool “PlanMyChildsWellVisit” (PCW). With minimal recruitment, over 50% of parents asked to complete the PCW did so prior to their well visits and the pediatric providers now declare they they “cannot live without” this tool for well visits with parents and young children.


  • Submissions Due: November 15th, 2011

Review Panel

Evaluation Criteria

  • Design and Usability: Each submission will be rated on its ease of use, and interactive capabilities.Preference will be given to applications that are easily accessible to a range of consumers and on a variety of platforms (e.g., 508 compliance).
    Web-based, mobile, and SMS texting platforms are encouraged.
  • Creativity and Innovation: Each submission will be rated for the degree of new thinking it brings to applications for health, and the creativity shown in designing for impact.
  • Accessibility: Extra points will be awarded to applications that are accessible to a broad population and / or can be transferred to other platforms.
  • Potential for Impact: Each submission will be rated on the strength of its potential to improve health status for individuals and/or the community.
  • Team Composition: Extra points will be awarded to teams that are composed of members from a variety of disciplines.

Submission Requirements

  • A registration button and related link for the challenge can be found at the top of the right hand column of this page. Teams are asked to register to help Health 2.0 and the challenge sponsor anticipate resources needed to manage the project.
  • Registered teams may receive updates from Health 2.0 and the Sponsor during the submission period that provide useful information with regards to the competition.
  • There are no additional forms or steps required after submission of the registration form. Instructions on how to submit an entry will be sent prior to the close of the submission deadline. Teams are not bound or limited by the proposal description submitted in the registration form and may update or modify their projects as needed prior to final submission.

Participating Teams

SD Faces
Symetri Health
Aggregated Outcomes
CAHMI WellVisitPlanner
DBMI Distributed Models Training Team

Terms & Conditions

Terms and Conditions

The following terms and conditions govern the submission of a technology product by a Challenge team (“Team”) to The Relevant Evidence to Advance Care and Health (REACH) – Enabling Access to Relevant, Timely, and Useful Information to Improve Health and Health Care Challenge, sponsored by AcademyHealth ("the Sponsor").


  • The Challenge is open only to teams based in the United States.
  • A team must include no less than 2 people and no more than 10.


  • The Sponsor has the absolute discretion to make all decisions related to eligibility, the development, management, implementation and evaluation of the technology product submitted as an entry to the Challenge.
  • Prize awards will be paid directly by the Sponsor to the winning teams.


  • November 15th, 2011.
  • Once an entry is submitted, a team is prohibited from making any changes or alterations to the technology product described in its submission until the evaluation of the entries is completed. The approximate date for completing the evaluation is November 30th, 2011. This date may be extended in the sole discretion of the Sponsors.


  • A link to a the functional site, an emulator or video of the app’s capabilities and functionality must be entered into the “Web Site” field on the Team application form.
  • A PowerPoint presentation describing the web or mobile app must be uploaded to the Team Application Form and accompany the submitted entry.


  • By submitting a technology product as an entry in response to this Challenge, each team and each team member represents and warrants that:
    • The team and its members are the sole authors, creators, and owners of the technology product submitted as an entry;
    • None of the intellectual property rights in the technology product, or any portion thereof, submitted in the entry has been assigned or transferred to anyone that is not a member of the team;
    • The technology product, through its creation and its submission as an entry, does not violate any applicable laws;
    • The technology product, through its creation and its submission as an entry, does not infringe upon or violate intellectual property rights held by any third person or party;
    • The technology product submitted as an entry comply with appropriate policies, procedures and protections for access to relevant data sets to ensure all privacy requirements, intellectual property considerations, and sponsor restrictions are met; and
  • By submitting an entry in response to this Challenge, each team and each team member agrees to:
    • Comply with and be bound by the official rules and decisions of the sponsor;
    • Release and hold harmless the sponsor, its officers, its employees, and agents (including but not limited to, any judges or evaluators of the entries) from any claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to infringement of copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property rights, property damage, or death or personal injury arising out of or relating to the Challenge; and,
    • Indemnify, defend and hold harmless the sponsors from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities arising from or relating to participation in the Challenge.


  • By submitting an entry, any team selected as a winner grants the sponsor a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide license to use and display publicly the submitted materials.
  • Ownership of all intellectual property developed for this Challenge is maintained by the participating teams.


  • The sponsor and judges are not responsible for:
    • Any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by teams, data sources, Challenge administrators, printing errors, equipment failures or programming problems associated with this Challenge;
    • Technical failures, including, but not limited to, disconnections in network hardware, software, or phone lines, interruptions, or other malfunctions;
    • Unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Challenge,
    • Technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Challenge or the processing of entries; or
    • Any injury to person or damage to property which may be caused by participating in the Challenge, including but not limited to, receipt or use of any award.