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HHS to Use Challenges to Spur New Health Info Technology

Supercomputer (kosheahan/Flickr)The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced its Investing in Innovations (i2) Initiative that offers prizes and competitions to accelerate development of solutions in health information technology. The program will be run from the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology.

The i2 Initiative plans to use open-innovation methods, such as prizes and challenges, to encourage development of new solutions to problems and issues in health IT. These competitions are expected to attract ideas from a wide range of disciplines to address difficult problems. Open innovation often can reward the best-in-class work, says ONC, and can generate rapid responses to issues that sometimes are difficult to address with more traditional funding.

The competitions themselves will be run by Capital Consulting Corporation in Fairfax, Virginia and Health 2.0 LLC. ONC awarded the companies nearly $5 million for projects supporting innovations in research and encouraging health IT development through open-innovation. Funding for i2 is authorized by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.

Examples of potential i2 Initiative projects cited by ONC include applications:

– Allowing an individual to securely share health information with his or her social network

– Providing patients, caregivers, or clinicians access to information that supports real health care needs and immediate decisions

– Allowing individuals to connect during natural disasters and other periods of emergency

– Encouraging exchange of health information while allowing individuals to restrict access to their personal health records to authorized parties

Read more: Prototype U.K. Medical Records Card/Stick Developed

Photo: kosheahan/Flickr

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