The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and Health 2.0 made a recent announcement officially launching 2 new competitions. These contests are meant to spur development and advancement of health IT applications that could ease patients’ care transitions and facilitate the reporting of medical device-related adverse events.

ONC calls the overall program the “Investing in Innovation (i2) Initiative”. i2 focuses on giving prizes and competitions to accelerate the development of solutions and communities around key challenges in health IT. In fact, the winners of these new contests each will receive $25,000 and the opportunity to present their app at a major health care conference.

This initiative is made possible by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, signed into law on January 4, 2011. The Act invests in innovation through R&D and strives to improve the competitiveness of the United States.

The first challenge is aimed at helping a patient’s transition from the hospital to their home.

“The “Ensuring Safe Transitions From Hospital to Home” challenge tasks  multi-disciplinary teams with creating browser-based apps that give patients the  ability to access critical data needed for hospital discharge and transmit such  data to other health care providers.

Submissions for the challenge are due by Nov. 16 and will be judged on  their:

  • Design;
  • Ease-of-use;
  • Innovation; and
  • Potential for improved patient outcomes after hospital discharge.”

Once the app submissions are turned in on Nov. 16, 2011, they will be judged on criteria such as innovation, ease-of-use and design, as well as on their potential for improved patient outcomes after hospital discharge. The prizes will total $40,000 along with the aforementioned first place award.

The second challenge announced by ONC is geared toward reporting on adverse device conditions. The premise, according to the contest website, is that medical devices will play an increasingly large role in the monitoring and collection of patient data with the adoption of EHRs. As patients take a more direct role in managing their health care, devices that are implanted or are used in the hospital, clinic, or home must be easy to use and monitor.

“The “Reporting Device Adverse Events” challenge invites teams to design an  Internet-ready device that allows users to record adverse events associated with  medical devices. A recorded event would generate an alert to a physician, who  then could submit the report through an FDA database.
Submissions for the challenge are due by Dec. 2 and will be judged on  their:
  • Data tracking efficacy;
  • Design;
  • Interoperability with existing hospital information systems;
  • Overall creativity; and
  • Usability “

Submissions for the “Reporting Device Adverse Events” are due by Dec. 2, 2011, and will also be judged on criteria that include data tracking efficacy, usability and design, interoperability with existing EHRs and other data sources, and overall display of creativity and innovation.

Sources: iHealthbeat and HealthcareITNews