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Vanderbilt launches health information software competition

May. 2, 2013, 8:55 AM

Vanderbilt University announced today a $20,000 worldwide contest called the Health App Challenge, aimed to transform patient clinical summaries into easy to understand personalized health information.

Entries may be submitted May 1- Aug. 1, with a $10,000 winner and five $2,000 winners to be announced Aug. 14.

“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, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) and professor of Pediatrics.

“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.  It should be very exciting for all involved.”

The contest is seeking software solutions that can generate rich, highly usable, and informative patient clinical summaries.

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,” said Jim Jirjis, M.D., chief medical information officer and medical director of Adult Primary Care.

“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.”

The resulting modernized summaries will become an integrated component of the patient’s health record, fostering new opportunities for improved disease management.

“The intent of the patient clinical summary was to help patients hone in on what’s important for their health,” said Naqi Khan, M.D., instructor, Department of Biomedical Informatics.

“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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