App challenge activity abounds at Health Datapalooza

On Monday, at the Health Datapalooza IV conference, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced that it is co-sponsoring a national competition--called "code-a-palooza"--to design an innovative app or tool using Medicare data that primary care providers can use to help manage patient care. The national competition, sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, the Health Data Consortium, and the cloud software company Socrata, will give $25,000 in prizes to the teams of coders and medical experts that build the best tools or apps by the end of Datapalooza.

ONC also took the opportunity to announce the launch of the Blue Button Co-Design Challenge, designed to spur the creation of new apps that will allow patients to better use their own health data to improve their own care. The challenge will ask the public to vote on ideas from which developers will build tools to address health priorities determined by public voting. ONC announced the winners of the Apps4TotsHealth Challenge, which was launched to help parents and caregivers of young children better manage their nutrition and physical activity. The winning developers, researchers, and other innovators make use of data to strengthen these tools and make them more user-friendly. Announcement