Originally published by Adam Wong / Management and Program Analyst, ONC on HealthIT.gov
Drum roll please!
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the National Cancer Institute congratulates Dr. Michelle Longmire and the Medable.com team for winning the Crowds Care for Cancer Challenge with their submission Together.
The challenge asked app developers to create new tools to help survivors manage their cancer care after they have completed treatment.
The Crowds Care for Cancer Challenge builds on the efforts ONC has undertaken to providing tools and information – like those that could be integrated into Blue Button based tools – to both patients and providers to help better manage health and care.
Having more health information benefits patients and their doctors alike.
Together helps survivors coordinate cancer care
Together, an iPhone-accessible mobile phone app, offers another tool that helps patients and their providers share information through a design with “hand-offs” or “transitions in care” at the core. The new app will:
- Allow cancer providers to chat securely
- Answer questions
- Coordinate cancer care
A prominent feature of the app, “Care Conversation” offers patients a secure platform for collaborative cancer care where patients can invite multiple providers to chat about their care, get questions answered and hopefully engage in a patient-centered dialogue.
Medable.com engaged cancer survivors to help co-design the fundamental features of their tool, and focused on improving communication between patients and their care team. Together promises to be a tool that can unite all members of the healthcare team to help cancer survivors transition between specialists and primary care providers.
Another stand-out feature that Together will offer when the first version is available in the iTunes App Store in August, is the ability to integrate commercial wearable sensor data – like that from home blood pressure monitors or wearable devices like Fitbit – with relative data handling ease.
Together claims to be the first application that enables a patient to share commercial wearable sensor data directly with their healthcare provider.
Cancer care at the forefront of ONC Challenge
Together was chosen as one of three initial finalists from a pool of 30 applicants that submitted cancer care tools to the first phase of the Crowds Care for Cancer Challenge (CC4C13).
In the second phase of the challenge, Together—along with the other two finalists Patients with Power and Journey Forward —launched a 30-day crowdfunding campaign with the help of the crowdfunding platform MedStartr (you can see all three finalists campaigns here.) Soliciting support from ‘the crowd,’ the three teams garnered over $16,175 in additional seed funding as well as pertinent feedback for further iterations of their tools.
On July 12th the three finalists turned in their final submissions for judging. The review panel was comprised of various cancer care stakeholders – patient advocates, academics, clinicians, and health information technology specialists.
All submissions were judged on the following criteria:
- usability and design
- evidence of co-design
- integration with Blue Button+ standards
- ability to address the needs of cancer survivors (click here to view full details of the Challenge)
Barbara Powe, Director of Underserved Population Research at the American Cancer Society and a member of the review panel remarked that Together “was a very impressive entry.
The things that stood out were how patient-centered it was, across the realms of design, simplicity, features, and functions. This is clearly an app that was designed with the patient and the cancer survivor in mind.”
Along with being awarded the $25,000 grand prize, the Together team will exhibit their app at the 2013 Rock Health Innovation Summit August 8th-9th for all Summit attendees.
What do you think about the CC4C13 Challenge winner?
Share your comments here or congratulate the winner @TogetherGoBig. Join the conversation using#CC4C13
AF: Thank you for running this challenge on MedStartr. We are inspired that the US government is enabling the American people to help direct the funding of health innovation through crowdfunding and proud that our platform was selected to help.