Vanderbilt kicks off mHealth contest

May 2, 2013 in Medical Technology

Vanderbilt University officials announced Wednesday the kick-off of a new mobile health app challenge intended to transform patient clinical summaries into comprehensible, user-friendly health data. The contest is open to software developers worldwide and promises $20,000 in prize money for the best of the best.

According to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Reporter, officials are taking entries until Aug. 1, and will announce one $10,000 winner and five $2,000 winners Aug. 14. Entries are required to meet meaningful use objectives, be scalable and highly-compatible with various devices, with the overall goal of boosting patient engagement in their own health.  


[See also: mHealth app crowned $50K contest winner.]


“This is a first for Vanderbilt, but what we love about this approach is that it truly allows non-medical people who are passionate about health care to change the way we communicate to patients,” said Kevin Johnson, MD, professor and chair of the department of biomedical informatics and professor of pediatrics, to the Reporter.


“This challenge recognizes our thirst to deliver personalized information that is relevant to patients and families, easily understood, and hopefully, feasible with current technology and data,” he added. 


Contestants will use a set of test patient information, data schema, and other resources to develop applications that create modernized patient clinical summaries as part of the electronic health record.


“In today’s busy office practice, where patients are more complex, medicine is more complex, and time is short, patients often leave the office misunderstanding their medicines and their plan of care,” Jim Jirjis, MD, chief medical information officer and medical director of adult primary care, told the Reporter


“Our contestants for this prize have the opportunity not only to show their creative prowess and win the cash award but they can also rest assured that the big prize is scalably improving patient safety,” he added.


Naqi Khan, MD, instructor in Vanderbilt’s department of biomedical informatics, told the Reporter that the intent of patient clinical summaries was to help direct patients to what’s important for their personal health. “Unfortunately, we’ve fallen short so far in delivering this information to them in an actionable form. The Health App Challenge hopes to remedy this by reinventing the summary into something truly engaging.”


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