Electronic Health Records

Policy & Regulation News

ONC reveals winning apps for Blue Button Plus Challenge

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has awarded the first-, second-, and third-place finishers of the Blue Button Plus (+) Challenge, according HealthITBuzz.

The challenge is the third of its kind this year, part of the ONC’s Blue Button Co-Design Challenge to promote widespread adoption of this patient engagement functionality. Blue Button + is a “technology specification that allows patients to use third-party apps to download their health data from providers who have implemented the specification,” states the ONC.

Taking home the top prize is GenieMD for its app for iOS and Android device that implements and uses Blue Button Plus functionality by combining patient-centered data with data from smart devices and content provided by Harvard Health Publications. The GenieMD app comprises patient services such as symptom checking, alerts for drug interactions, and location services for providers and pharmacies.

“We launched the patient Co-Design Challenge by crowdsourcing the priority ways that patients and caregivers want to use their Blue Button health data,” ONC’s Medical Officer for Innovation Rebecca Mitchell Cornelius, MD, said in a public statement issued by GenieMD.

“We heard loud and clear that it can be extremely challenging to keep track of — not to mention keep up with — your healthcare when you have a complex illness or many different conditions,” she added, “but accessing and better understanding personal health data could help.”

The second- and third-place winners were Humetrix and Hint Health, respectively.

Humetrix developed ICEBlueButton, a mixture of patient data using Blue Button + and self-entered data to create an “in case of emergency (ICE) record and QR code for the use of emergency personnel.

The third-place-winning app CareTracker by Hint Health is designed for patients and caretakers wherein the former can add members to their care team and the latter can manage multiple patients.

More information about the challenge and its winner is available here.

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