There is less than two weeks remaining for developers to submit their entries for the ONC Blue Button Mash Up Challenge. The final day for submissions is September 5th with the top three entries announced at the Health 2.0 San Francisco Fall Conference.

The three winners will receive a total of $75K in awards; $45K for first place, $20K for second, and $10K for third.

Below you can review the submission guidelines, which are crucial for any potential applicant as this challenge is much more structured than most in terms of basic requirements and expectations.

Challenge Description

This challenge builds on a prior Blue Button® challenge to make personal health information more usable and meaningful for the individual consumer or patient.

The challenge is broken into two parts:

  1. App Development: Entrants must submit an app that makes the best use of Blue Button® downloaded personal health data and combines it with other types of data. Apps must mash up Blue Button® data with data inspired by the structure of the three part aim. Apps must use data representing at least two of the three part aim categories below.
  2. Reach: The app must be able to garner high patient engagement rates. Entrants are encouraged to demonstrate a partnership with a personal health information data holding organization (such as a provider, payor, or Personal Health Record vendor—see for a definition of a data holding organization) to achieve wide distribution among patients.

Applying the Three Part Aim:

To participate in the challenge, entrants must mash up Blue Button® data – data about a patient which the patient can download directly using a health plan’s, doctor’s or hospital’s Blue Button® function – with information from two or more of the three part aim categories. Below are examples of types of contextual data that would qualify for purposes of this contest. Entrants can use data sets from the categories below or similar data sets:

Components of the Three Part Aim:

Part 1 of the Three-Part Aim: Better care interactions with the healthcare system

  • Assist individuals in choosing high quality care that is relevant to their individual needs by including ratings for physician comparisons, hospital comparisons, or other care quality data.
  • Assist individuals in identifying providers, practices, and hospitals that are health information technology enabled by using information from CMS related to Meaningful Use or other sources.
  • Support individuals in understanding their current state of health by combining clinical data and medical claims data to create a comprehensive list of the individual’s medical conditions.
  • Support individuals in understanding their current medication regimen by aggregating clinical data from doctors/hospitals, prescription claims data, and downloaded clinical data to create a single comprehensive list of medications.

Part 2 of the Three-Part Aim: Better care for oneself outside of the healthcare system

  • Provide support to help an individual meet some of their personally stated health goals, (for example related to healthy eating, exercise, social support, or other virtual or geographically based resources).
  • Provide an easily understood representation of an individual’s health status in comparisons to others of a similar demographic (age, gender, ethnicity, or otherwise), and make recommendations for actionable things an individual could do toward better health outcomes based on their comparative health data.
  • Extrapolate how healthy behavior change can lead to positive health outcomes over time (for example show potential weight loss and reduced risk of cardiac illness from adding two 30 minute walks per week.

Part 3 of the Three-Part Aim: Reduced costs

  • Provide information related to costs of relevant health care services (treatments, procedures, medication formularies, etc.) and/or financial savings likely to accrue from behavior changes.
  • Create algorithms that exhibit cost savings to the individual and/or the health care system if the individual makes healthy living interventions, or different cost related choices in their health care.

Requirements for Participation

  • Effectively integrate Blue Button® with information from two or more of the three part aim categories described above (special consideration will be given to apps and tools that incorporate data from all three components of the three-part aim).
  • Integrate patient-centered design and usability concepts to drive high patient adoption and engagement rates.
  • Mash up an individual’s Blue Button® downloaded data in innovative ways to contextualize the individual’s health data.
  • Combine, correlate or otherwise mash up a consumer’s Blue Button data with data from other no-cost-to-consumer sources of data.
  • Provide a one page dissemination plan or commercialization strategy describing how this app solution will be implemented for scalability, including details for marketing and promotion.
  • Existing or modified apps should show an uptake in their initial user base demonstrating the potential for market penetration based on Blue Button® data contextualization capabilities.
  • The app must be designed for the Web, a personal computer, a mobile handheld device, console, or any platform broadly accessible on the open Internet.

Submission Requirements

In order for an entry to be eligible to win this Challenge, it must meet the following requirements:

  1. General – Contestants must provide continuous access to the app, a detailed description of the app, instructions on how to install and operate the app, and system requirements required to run the app (collectively, “Submission”)
  2. Acceptable platforms – The app must be designed for the Web, a personal computer, a mobile handheld device, console, or any platform broadly accessible on the open Internet.
  3. Data used – The app must utilize 508 or W3C compliant EHR modules and associated data.
  4. No ONC logo – The app must not use ONC’s logo or official seal in the Submission, and must not claim endorsement.
  5. Functionality/Accuracy – A submission may be disqualified if the software application fails to function as expressed in the description provided by the user, or if the software application provides inaccurate or incomplete information.
  6. Security – Submissions must be free of malware. Contestant agrees that the ONC may conduct testing on the app to determine whether malware or other security threats may be present. ONC may disqualify the app if, in ONC’s judgment, the app may damage government or others’ equipment or operating environment.