THUMPr, mHealth Coach win ONC contest

By Bernie Monegain
09:16 AM

Farzad Mostashari, MD, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has named the winners of a federal search for developers of innovative technology apps to help improve American heart health. The awards were made March 25 at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Conference in Chicago.

Contest winners Jared Schwartz, Luke Peterson, and Anthony Veach were awarded $50,000 for THUMPr, a web-based application that creates personal heart health profiles. Schwartz and his team say THUMPr provides users with a simple, immersive interface. They also say THUMPr generates unique recommendations based on the Million Hearts ABCS framework (aspirin, blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking cessation) and are paired with actionable steps for the user. The application features multilingual support and was developed using the Drupal framework and data sets from the American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic, Google Maps Database, and Facebook Connect Application Programming Interfaces.

[See also: HxD Conference has designs on smarter healthcare.]

Aamer Ghaffar, second place winner, was awarded $20,000 for mHealthCoach, which incorporates 11 unique data feeds, supports social media integration, peer communities, and fitness groups. The application is built on top of the mHealthCoach Health Guide Wellness platform and was the winning submission in the Health 2.0 Walgreens Health Guide Challenge. Acording to Ghaffar, mHealthCoach teaches users about cardiovascular health by visually representing positive activities such as exercise, low fat intake and low sodium diets and negative activities such as the intake of fatty foods. The application also provides reminders about physical activity and appointments and allows individuals to track their weight, diet, cholesterol and smoking habits. 

The third place team, Trishan Panch, Archit Bhise, Vinnie Ramesh, and Jacob Sattelmair were awarded $5,000 for their app, called Wellframe. Wellfame focuses on patient engagement, evidence-based information and resources, targeted and actionable information and ease of usability, the team says. It also provides a heart disease risk assessment, social comparisons, preventive care alerts and educational resources.  Individuals can share information with their doctors electronically, using Direct, and by simple e-mail and print of personalized reports.

[Related: HIT crowdsourcing picks up, VCs eye winners.]

The app competition is part of a federal Innovation (i2) program’s “One in a Million Hearts Challenge.” Aligned with the Obama administration’s innovation agenda, it is the first federal program to operate under the authority of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act.  The i2 competition received funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  

“The One in a Million Hearts Challenge not only spreads awareness of a critical issue, it was one of the first to involve preventive care,” said Wil Yu, special assistant for innovations with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). “While we seek to improve treatment as a part of reducing the number of deaths from heart attacks and strokes, it is just as important that we create an educated patient population capable of engaging in its own health, leveraging the power of health IT, making more informed decisions and choosing healthier lifestyles.”