HHS names finalists for cancer care app

Will compete for $25,000 grandprize
By Erin McCann
09:00 AM
The Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday three finalists for a cancer survivor support application challenge. Each team was awarded $5,000 by the Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and will compete for $25,000 grand prize. HHS named the finalists at Health Datapalooza in the nation's capital.
The challenge, launched by ONC in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute and MedStartr, the healthcare crowdfunding portal, will award the grand prize to the app creator who develops the best tool to help cancer survivors better manage their transition from oncology specialty care to primary care. 
"We're also very excited because this is the first innovation challenge that's focused on the needs of cancer survivors," said Abdul Shaikh, program director at NCI, in an interview with Healthcare IT News. "And for us, that's a very important population that we're targeting with this challenge. What we're looking for is innovation that can really address the tough problems that cancer survivors face."
Adam Wong, management and program analyst for ONC, said it's time that the some 14 million annual cancer survivors have a tool to help them better manage their health following specialty care treatment. "It gives us opportunity to raise awareness about a specific topic that we feel either is not being addressed fittingly or needs superior options," Wong said. 
The top three finalists proposing innovative solutions for cancer survivors are:
  • Medable's Together helps patients with medication and symptom tracking, personalized disease surveillance and health info, collaborative care planning and data sharing.
  • JourneyForward offers patients treatment summaries, what to watch for and expect, symptom management tools and follow-up care schedules
  • PatientsWithPower is tailored to women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer. It tracks diagnoses, presents personalized treatment options and shows a timeline of treatment and its impacts
With the support of NCI, ONC launched the Crowds Care for Cancer: Supporting Survivors challenge in April as part of ONC’s Investing in Innovation program. The i2 program, managed by Health 2.0, utilizes prizes and challenges to facilitate innovation and obtain solutions to intractable health IT problems. The applications submitted by the three teams of finalists will be judged on their potential to enhance the health and healthcare experience of cancer survivors. To view the apps in detail, click here