HHS names winner of wellness-related Mobile App Challenge

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Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Dr. Howard Koh yesterday announced the winner of the healthfinder.gov Mobile App Challenge – Lyfechannel.

Myfamily, the winning app, is a tool designed to help families manage their health by providing customized prevention information for each family member.

“This app helps put the power of prevention at the fingertips of Americans,” Koh said. “Families can now use healthfinder.gov preventive care information to make informed, personalized healthcare decisions right from their smartphone.”

Myfamily works by focusing on preventive care services and benefits in the Affordable Care Act. The app seeks to empower families to improve and maintain their health as individuals. Those using the app can find customized prevention information and tips for each member of their family and keep up-to-date on medical checkups and vaccinations.

According to HHS, apps such as myfamily are important because research has shown patients who are actively engaged in their healthcare tend to have better health outcomes in general.

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at HHS sponsored the Mobile App Challenge, coordinating and managing it alongside Health 2.0 and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The healthfinder.gov contest challenges developers to collaborate with health professionals to create apps that make healthfinder.gov content user-friendly and customizable for prevention care planning.

Part one of the challenge required developers to work with end users, using crowdsourcing platform Health Tech Hatch, to create their prototype. Three finalists were then selected from this pool to compete in the final round.

“For the first time during a challenge competition, we went to end users during the development of the applications,” said Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer at 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.”

Myfamily was developed by Lyfechannel, a small, private California company that translates evidence-based health behavior and adherence studies into mobile patient experiences.

 

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Bryan Sivak
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