Forbes on Health 2.0: Why developers should enter health IT contests

Health 2.0’s good friend, Fred Trotter, recently wrote a piece featured in both  Forbes and O’Reilly Radar that gave a great overview of our Developer Challenge. Along with discussing his recent publication, Meaningful Use and Beyond, Fred explains exactly why developers should enter Health IT competitions and how they can make a  difference.  We’ve seen a big spike in traffic as news of these competitions enters more mainstream media but there are still plenty of opportunities to compete. Please take a moment to read Fred’s piece and consider getting involved with one of open challenges.

Patient safety is a movement within healthcare to reduce medical errors. Medical errors are a substantial problem in the healthcare industry, with a size and scope similar to car accidents: approximately the same number of deaths per year, about the same number of serious injuries. Personally I think working in patient safety is the simplest way for a geek to make a meaningful difference.

With that in mind I would like to promote a new developer contest sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), Partnership for Patients and hosted by Health 2.0: Ensuring Safe Transitions from Hospital to Home Challenge. As the name suggests, the contest is focused on the process of handing a patient over from an in-patient environment (in the hospital) to an out-patient environment (all the care that is not in a hospital).

I will be one of the judges for this contest and there are already enough “star players” submitting as teams in the contest that I know judging is going to be hard. The first prize is $25,000. That kind of money starts looking like seed-round funding rather than just a pat on the head. That is intentional on the part of both Health 2.0 and ONC. These contests are a way for ONC to find really amazing health IT ideas and help them transition into more substantial projects, with no strings attached. If you can prove to the judges that you have the best new idea and you can flesh it out well enough to make it clear that it has a chance of working, then you can walk away with enough cash to launch that idea. But don’t take my word for it: Check out this related Health 2.0 interview with Farzad Mostashari, ONC’s national coordinator for health IT.

Of course, even just submitting in the contest is a good way to get the attention of various investors.

Generally, the coordination of care in the United States is one of the greatest weaknesses in the system…

Continue Reading on Forbes


This post originally appeared on O’Reilly Radar (“Why developers should enter health IT contests“) and on Forbes (“Make Patients Safer and Make Some Money Too: Why Health IT Contests Matter.” It’s republished with permission.

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