Winning app stresses preventive care for patients

April 30, 2013

A new app lets patients tailor healthcare information for multiple individuals, obtain healthcare tips, create personal health alerts, keep track of medical check-ups and vaccinations, and learn about benefits and services covered under the Affordable Care Act.

 

Looking for an app to recommend to patients on a quest to maintain or improve their health and the health of their loved ones? Myfamily by Lyfechannel, which recently won the healthfinder.gov Mobile App Challenge, will let them access and customize preventive care information from a government website.

“This app helps put the power of prevention at the fingertips of Americans,” says Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) assistant secretary for health. “Families can now use healthfinder.gov preventive care information to make informed, personalized healthcare decisions right from their smartphone.”

The healthfinder.gov site is managed by HHS and contains content from about 1,400 government and non-profit organizations. The new app enables users to tailor prevention information for multiple individuals, obtain healthcare tips, create personal health alerts, keep track of medical check-ups and vaccinations, and learn about benefits and services covered under the Affordable Care Act.

About the contest

The HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion sponsored the competition, which challenged developers and health professionals to co-design mobile applications related to heathfinder.gov content. During its first phase, developers worked with end-users, via a crowdsourcing platform called Health Tech Hatch, to build working prototypes. More than 160 individuals registered as testers and provided more than 260 comments. Three finalists were selected from 26 submissions to move on to the second phase of the contest.

“For the first time during a challenge competition, we went to end-users during the development of the applications,” says Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer at the HHS. “The use of crowdsourcing and feedback loops provided teams with critical information to develop a more useful application-not just another app, but a piece of technology that fulfills the needs of its users and improves health.”

Submissions were reviewed based on weighted criteria, including usability and design, evidence of co-design, innovation in design, functionality and accuracy, and healthfinder.gov branding. Particular emphasis was placed on the use of plain language and health literacy principles, as well as connecting users to healthfinder.gov information about clinical preventive services.

 

 

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