The Increasing Importance of Medical Devices – and Knowing When They’re Working Properly

As patients take on greater roles in managing their health and as electronic health records permeate the industry, medical devices and associated reporting will play increasing roles in healthcare information technology.

With medical devices – in the hospital, clinic or home – taking on enhanced roles in monitoring and collecting patient data.  These forces served as the impetus for ONC to launch the “Reporting Device Adverse Events Challenge as a part of its Investing in Innovation (i2) program.”  As devices continue to grow in their vitalit to patient care and as they improve our capacity to accurately monitor patient data, we need a means for measuring and reporting cases in which the devices fail to work properly.

Many doctors and healthcare providers currently collect this information and voluntarily report it to a system maintained by the FDA, the Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE).  The ONC is looking to extend this reach – and more importantly  – enhance the quality of the information that is collected to make the system more useful.

The Challenge asks developers to design applications that provide patients with the ability to collect information about devices that cause adverse events.  These apps – whether mobile or web-based – should be designed to collect rich, high-quality data from patients and provide reports to their doctors.  From here, physicians should be able to build upon the reports using EHR data and subsequently  submit the reports to MAUDE. $40k in prizes will be awarded for the best apps.  The Challenge closes on February 3, 2012.

Think you have an idea?  Learn more about the Challenge details and requirements at www.Challenge.gov/ONC/239.  To register and find more Challenge-specific information, go to the Reporting Device Adverse Events page at http://www.health2challenge.org.

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