Health IT and Winners and Open ONC Challenges

In September 2009 President Obama outlined and initiated his Strategy for American Innovation. He called on agencies to “increase their ability to promote innovation by using tools such as prizes and challenges to solve tough problems.” The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) then issued the guidelines on challenges, contests, and prizes in March of 2010. The guidelines provide a policy and legal framework to guide agencies in using prizes to advance their missions through innovation. was created as a platform for agencies to list, track, and promote their challenges.

Under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the ONC is charged with coordination of nationwide efforts to implement and use the most advanced health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information. The ONC has conducted many successful challenges with ones currently open for participation. Of the 17 ONC challenges, 6 have announced winners, 5 are closed evaluating entries, and 6 are currently open for participation. Here are some highlights of the ONC Challenges.

Open Challenges with Top 3 Money Prizes

  • Ocular Imaging Challenge, $150,000 in prizes with about 5 months left to submit. A multidisciplinary call to create an application that improves interoperability among office-based ophthalmic imaging devices, measurement devices, and EHRs.
  • EHR Accessibility Module Challenge, $85,000 in prizes with about a month left to submit. ONC is challenging developers create and test an application that makes it easy for disabled consumers to access and interact with the health data stored in their EHRs.
  • Blue Button Mash Up Challenge, $75,000 in prizes with about 3 months left to submit. Developers are challenged to create an app mashing up Blue Button personal health data with additional health-related data sets.

Challenge Winners of Top 3 Most Popular