The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Advisory Board Company recently announced separate "Blue Button" challenges designed to improve patients' access to their health care data, Government Health IT reports.
The Advisory Board Company produces iHealthBeat for the California HealthCare Foundation.
Both challenges build off of Blue Button, a feature developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to let patients download their health information in a text format to share with health care providers, families or caregivers.
ONC's "Blue Button Mash-Up Challenge" seeks software applications that would let patients merge their health care data with other information, such as:
- Community data;
- Administrative or financial data; and
- Personal device data.
According to ONC, combining such data could help patients better understand their health and make more informed decisions about their care.
ONC plans to award a total of $75,000 in prizes to the developers of the winning applications. Submissions are due Sept. 5.
Advisory Board Company Challenge
The Advisory Board Company's "Patent Engagement Blue Button Challenge" calls for developers to help hospitals and health systems engage patients through the use of Blue Button features.
Aneesh Chopra -- former U.S. Chief Technology Officer and senior adviser at the Advisory Board Company -- said, "The determination of who wins this particular challenge will be whether or not the hospital or health system has engaged effectively through the tool to ensure that patients actually have participated."
He added that the winning apps will be those that encourage the most participation and receive the best feedback from users and institutions.
The developers of the winning app will receive $25,000, and up to five semi-finalists will receive $5,000 each and the ability to deploy their app in the field. Submissions are due Aug. 6 (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 6/6).