Earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Health 2.0 announced the first ever Health 2.0 Developer Challenge—a competition for software developers interested in building tools to help people understand and apply community health data, applications that inspire physical activity, applications that turn patient data into useful services for patients, and tools for medical providers. Health 2.0 also invited government agencies, academic groups and other “data aggregators” to submit specific “challenges”—contests that take advantage of available health data and tap into the expertise and creativity of the developer community to help translate health data into action that helps people be healthier.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is co-sponsoring three challenges as part of the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge. Each challenge encourages developers to share information across the health and technology communities and to highlight the benefits of innovation using data and applications that are aimed at improving health. Winners of each RWJF-sponsored challenge will receive a $2,500 award and free admission to the 2010 Fall Health 2.0 conference.
- The Health Factor—Using the County Health Rankings to Make Smart Decisions: RWJF and the University of Wisconsin are challenging developers to use their recently released County Health Rankings, the first project to rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states, to develop a tool to help leaders factor in a community’s health status as a part of the decision- making process. This challenge looks for innovative approaches that bring the County Health Rankings to the places where decision-makers go to get information and data. Developers are invited to create whatever tools necessary—widgets, apps or other novel approaches—to integrate the Rankings data into smart phone, tablet or Web platforms.
- The Project HealthDesign Developer Challenge, offered jointly by RWJF and the California HealthCare Foundation, seeks designers and innovators to translate one of nine Project HealthDesign prototypes into working applications that run on smart phones, tablets or Web platforms. Project HealthDesign is an RWJF-funded program that sees personal health records as springboards for action and improved health decision making—with the patient at the center of the design process. These applications should build on the existing prototypes, each aimed at solving a specific health challenge, listed here.
- The Blue Button Challenge is offered jointly by RWJF and the Markle Foundation. Federal agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) will soon be enabling patients to download their personal health information. For this challenge, CMS is making available sample data sets that reflect what patients would be able to download. Developers are asked to develop a Web-based tool, using the sample federal data sets, to help patients stay healthy and manage their care. In addition to the cash award for this challenge, winners will have the opportunity to have coffee with technology expert and author Clay Shirky.
Find full descriptions of each challenge and more information about the competition at the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge Web site.