May 212013

by Stephanie Baum

The National Cancer  Institute and the Office of National  Coordinator for Health IT are throwing down $40,000 in an innovation  challenge to encourage app developers to step and brainstorm ideas to improve  cancer care, particularly improving transitional and follow-up care after cancer  treatment, according  to a statement on the ONC’s website.

The “Crowds Care for Cancer: Supporting Survivors Challenge” contest includes  two parts. First, there’s the initial application in which participants submit wire frames to show  a skeletal blueprint for the tool and documentation that describes how their  tool or app is supposed to work and layout the plan to develop it. Up to three  will be picked from this first phase and awarded $5,000. They’ll get feedback  and support to improve their apps and will get promoted on Medstartr’s  crowdfunding portal in the run-up to the second part of the contest.

In the second part, the competitors are judged and the winner gets  $25,000.

Here are some of the areas the challenge seeks to address, according  to the ONC’s website:

  1. Optimizing patient-provider communication and customizing management of  survivor care.
  2. Follow-up care needs like medication tracking and adherence, health  promotion, appointment and symptom tracking.
  3. Improving communication across survivor care networks using tools to improve  health data and interoperability standards such as Blue  Button+.

Submissions will also be assessed on their ability to adapt to the evolving  care needs of survivors, including the potential for integration with electronic  care platforms and between family, friends and healthcare providers.

The deadline for the competition is May 28 at 11:59 pm Pacific time. To  apply, click this  link. The winners will be announced over the summer.

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This article is used with permission from, where it originally ran on May 15, 2013.

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