Marshfield Clinic heart health app takes prize in HHS challenge

February 16, 2013 in Medical Technology

Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation’s Heart Health Mobile app has won the Department of Health and Human Services challenge, part of its Million Hearts initiative, intended to leverage clinical and community prevention strategies to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The app is designed to help consumers assess their risk of heart attack or stroke and direct them to health screening locations in their community.

[See also: Sebelius touts winners of HHSinnovates program.]

As the winner, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation will receive $100,000 to support the app’s development and future versions.

The Heart Health iPhone app is available to download from the Apple iTunes store. A Web-based responsive design version that works on other devices is expected to be released in March 2013, and the app will soon be available in other languages.

“Our goal with Heart Health Mobile was to develop an app that can help people live healthier lives,” Simon Lin, MD, app project leader and director of the Biomedical Informatics Research Center at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, said in a news release. “The app gives people a fun, interactive tool that lets them track key risk factors for heart attacks and strokes, while monitoring improvement.”

The Risk Check Challenge called for the creation of a mobile app powered by Archimedes Inc.’s clinical-decision support tool, IndiGO

In the Heart Health Mobile app, IndiGO is used to analyze person-specific information entered by the individual and then calculate their risks of heart attack or stroke. While this is the first time that IndiGO has been adapted to an application programming interface format for use by consumers, IndiGO has been deployed in communities across the country for use by physicians at the point-of-care.

[See also: HHS taps Archimedes for high-powered analytics.]

“For years Archimedes has been developing quantitative methods for analyzing healthcare decisions at the individual and population levels,” David Eddy, MD, founder of Archimedes, said in a news release. “The launch of this new app will provide consumers with convenient access to our IndiGO solution in a format that is easy to use and understand. We are confident this app will help empower individuals to be more engaged in the heart – and overall – healthcare.”

Heart Health Mobile tracks users’ heart disease and stroke risk factors. Users enter statistics such as height, weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. They then answer questions such as: “Do you smoke?” and “Do you have diabetes?”

The app also offers educational information about heart disease and allows users to find nearby locations for cholesterol and blood-pressure screening in areas with participating pharmacies. A feature that tracks users’ histories allows people to easily monitor progress.

To keep people interested in using the app, developers created a version that incorporates achievements and a mini-game designed to make tracking risk factors more entertaining for people as they work to improve their health. Heart Health Mobile also incorporates Facebook and Twitter.

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