New NIH challenge targets apps for improved Alzheimer’s care

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The National Institute on Aging thinks software can improve care for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The agency, part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched a challenge aimed at finding such technologies — applications to improve care coordination and fulfill the unmet needs of patients, caregivers, hospitals and more. A wide range of applications could fit into the challenge: NIH, for example, welcomes solutions targeted not only at “consumers” (defined as persons with dementia or their caregivers), but also at “healthcare providers, healthcare service organizations, and/or health systems, and/or community, local, or state governments.”

The challenge listing on the federal crowdsourcing platform gives some examples of applications that would “fulfill the purpose of the Challenge,” including software to aid communication between doctors and patients, an application to connect patients to existing community resources and more.

Because of the broad mandate of the challenge, NIH encourages collaboration between doctors, health care systems, tech companies, insurance providers and more. There’s a total prize pot of $400,000 on the line for winning solutions.

While the challenge was announced on Monday, it doesn’t open for submission of a working product demonstration until Oct. 1. The challenge will run through June 2019, after which all submissions will be judged by a panel of federal employees on the basis of value, potential impact, creativity, usability and functionality.

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App Development / APIs,, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), health care, Health IT, National Institutes of Health (NIH), software