Million Hearts Challenge: Winners Announced

At the American College of Cardiology Scientific Conference this past Sunday, National Coordinator for Health IT, Dr. Farzad Mostashari, announced the winners of the Investing in Innovation initiative’s (i2) One in a Million Hearts Challenge: THUMPr, mHealthCoach and Wellframe and Flexis.

The One in a Million Hearts Challenge was run in conjunction with the Million Hearts initiative. With cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death in the United States, Million Hearts has set out to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. In order to reduce the number of people who need treatment, Million Hearts hopes to better educate and inform patients about pursuing healthy lifestyles.

“The One in a Million Hearts Challenge not only spread awareness of a critical issue, but it was also one of the first to involve preventive care,” said Wil Yu, Special Assistant for Innovations at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).  He continued, “While we seek to improve treatment as a part of reducing the number of deaths that result from heart attack and stroke, it is as important that we create an educated patient population capable of engaging in its own health, leveraging the power of health IT, making more informed decisions and choosing healthier lifestyles.”

The One in a Million Hearts Challenge launched on October 3, 2011, tasking multi-disciplinary teams of innovators to create technology applications that activate and empower patients to pursue healthy lifestyles and improve their heart health. The winner, Team THUMPr, will be awarded $50,000. The second and third place teams, mHealthCoach and Wellframe, will be awarded $20,000 and $5,000, respectively; Team Flexis received honorable mention recognition. Brief summaries of the winning applications follow:

THUMPr – submitted by Jared Schwartz, Luke Peterson and Anthony Veach – is a web-based application whose simple, immersive interface enables users to easily create personal heart health profiles.  Using the profile, THUMPr generates unique recommendations based on the Million Hearts ABCs framework (Aspirin, Blood pressure, Cholesterol, Smoking cessation).  These are paired with actionable steps for the user. The application features multilingual support and was developed using the Drupal framework and data sets from the AHA, Mayo Clinic, Google Maps Database and Facebook Connect APIs.

mHealthCoach – submitted by Aamer Ghaffar – incorporates eleven unique data feeds, supports social media integration, peer communities, and fitness groups. The application is built on top of the mHealthCoach Health Guide Wellness platform, the winning submission in the Health 2.0 Walgreens Health Guide Challenge. The application teaches

users about the basic of cardiovascular health by visually representing positive activities such as exercise, low fat intake and low sodium diets and negative activities such as the intake of fatty foods. The application also provides reminders about physical activity and appointments and allows individuals to track their weight, diet, cholesterol and smoking habits.

Wellframe – submitted by Trishan Panch, Archit Bhise, Vinnie Ramesh and Jacob Sattelmair – focuses on patient engagement, evidence-based information and resources, targeted and actionable information and ease of usability. The application provides a heart disease risk assessment, social comparisons, preventive care alerts and educational resources.  Individuals can share information with their doctors electronically, using Direct, and by simple e-mail and print of personalized reports.

Flexis VoIDSPAN – submitted by Andreas Kogelnik and Kenneth Ng – bridges the information gap between patients and the health care system by engaging patients through an integrated voice, SMS and web platform.  The application allows patients to profile themselves and set targets for the ABCs health goals and provides patients with targeted, actionable items and supportive information. The system includes patient-curated profiles, integrated external databases (including doctor and lab service finders), multilingual support and automated transfers for urgent care cases.

To learn more about the Million Hearts initiative, visit the initiative’s homepage. To learn more about the One in a Million Hearts Challenge, please visit the Challenge’s website.

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