Surgeon General, ONC Launch Mobile Health App Challenge


On Tuesday, the Office of the Surgeon General and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT launched the Surgeon General's Healthy App Challenge inviting developers to create smartphone applications that would encourage consumers to be more engaged in their health care, Becker's Hospital Review reports (Rodak, Becker's Hospital Review, 12/7).

Types of Apps

For the contest, developers can create apps that fall under three categories:

  • Integrative health, meaning that the app aims to integrate various aspects of wellness such as family health, spiritual health and sleep habits;
  • Fitness and physical exercise, meaning that the app aims to encourage people to follow a regular exercise routine; and
  • Nutrition and healthy eating, meaning that the app aims to help people learn healthy food preparation and eating habits (Davis/Russell, "Health IT Buzz," ONC, 12/6).

In addition, the apps should strive to complement and enhance U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin's public health agenda to curb obesity and promote preventive care (Becker's Hospital Review, 12/7).

Contest Details

Contest entries will be evaluated by an independent review panel selected by Benjamin. The contest winners are expected to be announced in late January.

Following the announcement, Benjamin will use the winning apps from each of the three categories and write about her experiences on social media platforms ("Health IT Buzz," ONC, 12/6).

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