Healthcare Contests to Drive Innovation in Health IT

Posted on April 12, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve been really intrigued with the large number of “challenges” or “contests” that have been coming out in the healthcare space. I love the ideas of a contest with a nice prize as a way to motivate smart people to work on something interesting.

The government has created an entire website devoted to these challenges called I first found this website when I found this Healthy People 2020 application developer challenge. They offered $4000 in prize money to work on a project that could help with health promotion and disease prevention. Looks like this is done in partnership with the Health 2.0 developer challenge. Although, before you get too excited the submission deadline has passed. In fact, the winner of that challenge was the Healthy Communities Institute. However, a quick search for health on turns up 23 more challenges. For example, check out this SMART Apps for Health challenge.

It’s not only the government though that’s using these online contests to try and tap the wisdom of America to solve health problems. Neil Versel of Meaningful Healthcare IT News recently wrote an article about the $3 million Heritage Health Prize. That’s an impressive prize. I’d be interested to know who is competing for that prize.

I’m not sure what it is that is so motivating about these type of competitions. Maybe it’s that we’ve been so trained since we were little to win contests. Either way, it’s interesting to see these type of contests being put to use in healthcare.