ONC names first winners of data sharing app challenges to leverage FHIR for easier patient and provider access

The Consumer Health Data Aggregator and Provider User Experience challenges focus on easing access to information for consumers and clinicians, respectively.
By Mike Miliard
11:07 AM

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology announced Monday the Phase 1 winners of two app challenges that aim to make it easier for patients and providers to access and share healthcare data.

Applicants were tasked to use HL7's Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources specification and open application programming interfaces to develop apps that enable more robust data sharing than exists in most electronic health records.

[Also: How FHIR sets stage for population health]
The Consumer Health Data Aggregator challenge focused on consumers' ability to more easily and get their health data from different providers on different health IT systems. The four winners of Phase 1 will each receive $15,000:

  • Green Circle Health has developed a platform that aims to offer a dashboard covering the full Common Clinical Data Set and using FHIR to transfer patient information; patient-generated health data from wearables other wellness devices could also be integrated. 
  • HealthCentrix's Prevvy Family Health Assistant app suite helps manage the health and wellness of whole families by leveraging both FHIR and Direct messaging with EHRs.
  • Medyear's app puts FHIR to work merging multiple patient records into a simple interface, using a "social media-like newsfeed" to show real-time EHR updates and makes for easier messaging with providers, according to ONC
  • MetroStar Systems created the Locket app, which collates data from different EHRs together into a single mobile device, and enables simplified appointment scheduling and check-in.

The Provider User Experience Challenge, meanwhile, wants to improve clinician experience with EHRs, aiming for simpler and more intuitive workflows. Its four Phase 1 winners also each won $15,000.

  • Herald Health, whose platform puts FHIR to work highlighting the most pertinent patient information. The HL7 spec enables customizable, if-this-then-that alerts using real-time data.
  • PHRASE Health – it stands for Population Health Risk Assessment Support Engine – seeks to develop a clinical decision support platform, to help clinicians manage emerging illnesses and incorporate more external data sources to help identify at-risk patients.
  • A collaborative comprising University of Utah Health Care, Intermountain Healthcare and Duke Health System aims to provide CDS for more timely and evidence-based diagnosis and management of newborn bilirubin, and plans to integrate the app across the health systems' various EHR systems.
  • WellSheet's web-based app deploys machine learning and natural language processing technology to prioritize relevant data at the point of care, with an algorithm simplifying workflows to incorporate multiple data sources. 

Both challenges now move to Phase 2, where the apps themselves will be evaluated. The next phase is open to all potential applicants – even those that didn't submit during Phase 1 – with submissions due Nov. 7, 2016.

"It is exciting to see the level of innovation that is taking place in health IT today," said Principal Deputy National Coordinator Vindell Washington, MD. "The apps that these challenges will produce have the potential to spur real-world improvements for individuals and clinicians throughout the health system."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

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