ONC announces winners of consumer and provider app challenges to improve health information access and use

Apps highlight the use of promising new tools and standards

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced the Phase 2 winners for the Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge and the Provider User Experience Challenge.  ONC designed these challenges to spur the development of market-ready applications (apps) that would enable consumers and providers to aggregate health data from different sources into one secure, user-friendly product.

Challenge submissions were required to use Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) and open application programming interfaces (APIs), which are both strongly supported by ONC. These types of modern technologies can make it easier and more efficient to retrieve and share information.

“We are thrilled to recognize new tools that make it easier for individuals and clinicians to access health information and put it to use,” said Dr. Vindell Washington, national coordinator for health information technology (IT). “These apps reflect the incredible progress that is possible as a result of the digital health infrastructure that the public and private sector have built together over the last eight years.”

Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge Winners

The Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge asked submitters to address a need that many consumers have today – the ability to easily and electronically access and securely integrate their health data from different health care providers using a variety of different health IT systems.

PatientLink Enterprises won first place and the $50,000 prize. Its solution, MyLinks, is a cloud-based application that makes it easy to gather, manage, and share patient data using several methods including FHIR® and Direct messaging, a method for sending authenticated, encrypted health information directly to known, trusted recipients over the internet. Using the app, patients can also participate in research, monitor data from remote devices, and use interactive tools.

The second place and “connector” prizes, each with an award amount of $25,000, were won byGreen Circle Health.  This application uses FHIR® to import patient data into a platform integrating a comprehensive family health dashboard that includes personal and medical device data, remote monitoring, and reminders.

In addition, the 1upHealth, which helps patients organize and share data from disparate sources, is being recognized as an Honorable Mention.

Provider User Experience Challenge Winners

The Provider User Experience Challenge focused on demonstrating how data made accessible to apps through APIs can enhance health care providers’ use of their electronic health record (EHR) systems by making clinical workflows more efficient and intuitive.

The first place prize, with an award amount of $50,000, was won by Herald Health. Its solution helps clinicians manage the overwhelming flow of alerts and information by allowing them to create highly customizable push notifications. These can be tailored to both individual patients and groups and exported to fellow users.

The second place and “connector” prizes, each with an award amount of $25,000, were won by the collaboration of University of Utah Health Care, Intermountain Healthcare, and Duke Health.Their solution is a clinical decision support tool that can provide recommendations for the treatment of babies with jaundice detected at birth based on the level of liver waste products found in their blood.

In addition, PHRASE Health, which uses clinical decision support to help clinicians align with priorities such as public health alerts, is being recognized as an Honorable Mention.

These efforts are part of a larger community-driven movement toward helping individuals and clinicians benefit from our nation’s rapidly evolving health IT infrastructure, including the adoption of ONC-certified electronic health records by nearly all U.S. hospitals and most physicians.  The efforts also align with several policy objectives outlined in the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, the Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap – PDF, the Interoperability Commitments, and ONC’s Health IT Certification Program. The availability and secure interoperable exchange of health data, and the technologies developed through these initiatives, also have the potential to support other key initiatives, such as delivery system reform, the Precision Medicine Initiative, the National Cancer Moonshot, and efforts to combat the opioid crisis.

For more information, visit the ONC’s Connecting and Accelerating a FHIR App Ecosystem page.