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ONC Data Challenge Asks Developers to Use Certified Health IT List

A new ONC data challenge prompts innovators to develop solutions that leverage the ONC certified health IT product list.

A new ONC data challenge tasks health IT developers with creating solutions that draw upon CHPL.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Health IT developers will be tasked with creating solutions that utilize the ONC certified health IT product list (CHPL) for $40,000 in prizes as part of a new ONC data challenge.

CHPL is a comprehensive listing of health IT products that have been tested and certified under the ONC Health IT Certification Program. Health IT products listed on CHPL have passed testing administered by an ONC Authorized Testing Laboratory (ONC-ATL) and certified by an ONC Authorized Certification Body (ONC-ACB.)

The list includes detailed information on certified health IT including data about usability testing results and ONC criteria the health IT product has successfully fulfilled. CHPL also includes information about non-conformities, including surveillance activities and corrective plans to resolve non-conformities.

Currently, CHPL lists more than 300 2015 Edition certified health IT product offerings.

ONC launched its CHPL Data Challenge to encourage health IT users, developers, and other stakeholders to make use of this information. The challenge encourages health IT developers to leverage CHPL to enhance the health IT community’s understanding of certified technologies.

“In the past, much of the testing and certification data was unstructured, making analysis of that data difficult,” wrote ONC Director of Standards and Technology Steve Posnack and other ONC officials in a recent Health IT Buzz blogpost.

“In 2016, to allow CHPL users to have better access to the data, ONC updated the CHPL with structured data and discrete formats,” continued ONC officials.  “For users who want greater access to the data, the CHPL has a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) and downloadable XML files containing the complete data available.”

The challenge prompts health IT innovators and researchers to develop a software application that utilizes the structured data contained within the CHPL APIs and XML files in new ways.

According to ONC, the app should offer solutions to current challenges facing healthcare providers, patients, and members of the health IT community.

ONC is offering challenge winners up to $40,000 in prizes. First place winners will receive a cash prize of $20,000, while the two runners up submissions will receive up to $10,000 each. Honorable mentions will not receive a cash award.

“While ONC would prefer to award all prizes, in the event that ONC is unable to select three winners, any remaining funds may be split among the selected winners or returned to ONC, at ONC’s sole discretion,” clarified ONC in the CHPL Data Challenge instructions.

Winning software applications will be judged on their ability to use data from CHPL, value in identifying and solving a problem in healthcare or health IT, creativity in problem solving of key healthcare or health IT issues, ease of use, usability, and best practices.

Contest submissions must include a slide deck of no more than seven slides detailing how the health IT solution functions and addresses application requirements, a video demo showcasing how the solution is used that does not exceed five minutes, and an instructions document.

Additionally, health IT developers must submit a copy of the software application and be willing to perform a live demo for ONC officials upon request.

Contest submissions are due October 31, 2018. Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of federal employees and experts.

CHPL only includes complete data in structured formats for 2015 Edition certified health IT products.

ONC will be holding an informal CHPL Data Challenge webinar on August 1 to provide contest participants with additional information about the contest. The webinar will also include a Q&A.

“Now that this data is more available and easily computable, ONC wants to see what the public can do with it,” said ONC officials.

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