New “Leading Health Indicators App Challenge” Aims to Make it Easier for Americans to Get Healthier

Over at ONC, we’re very excited about the recent launch of a new Investing in Innovation (i2) Challenge.  We have partnered with the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) on a Challenge in support of the Healthy People 2020 initiative, which establishes benchmarks for healthy living and provides ten-year goals for improving the health of all Americans.

On Mon Oct 31, we launched the Leading Health Indicators App Challenge.  With it, we’re tasking developers and experts to design applications that make it easy for the public to use and learn from the leading health indicators – that is, the nation’s critical health priorities that have been developed by Healthy People 2020.

The possibilities for what successful apps might do are endless. They could include tools that integrate:

  • health topic areas, measures, and evidence-based resources of interest;
  • community, county, and state health status comparisons;
  • real-time communication tools to stay in touch with peers;
  • educational curriculums to teach health promotion and disease prevention; and/or
  • related news, analyses, and blogs from outside resources.

Apps may focus on one or a variety of audiences and purposes. For instance:

Help a social worker meet the prevention needs of their clients by connecting clients with nearby resources and tracking their progress from arranging visits to completing assessments.

  • Create a simple and effective way for a primary-care physician to employ a population health approach to their work, grouping patients according to risk factors and providing them with relevant evidence-based interventions. This could then integrate with the practice’s electronic health records.
  • Partner with a university or faculty member to deliver an interactive academic curriculum to students, leveraging multimedia case studies to educate about the leading health indicators and their impact on community health.
  • Help an exercise therapist work with professional workplaces to integrate physical activity guidelines into their offices.

The Challenge’s unique format provides an opportunity for developers and subject-matter experts to work together to sift through ideas. In the first step of the Challenge, developers should identify personas – “specific users” – for whom the application will be tailored in terms of utility. In the second step, the co-design, developers are asked to team-up with the experts to strategize on how a successful application can be carried out.

We’re looking for the most innovative approaches to using the leading health indicators and solving the nation’s priority health problems. $15,000 in prizes will be awarded, along with the opportunity to demo at the 2012 National Health Promotion Summit.

Think you have a creative idea? Submissions are due Fri March 9, 2012. Further information can be found at Register at the Healthy People 2020 page on the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge site.

Wil Yu
Special Assistant for Innovations
Office of the Chief Scientist
Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT
US Department of Health & Human Services

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