Using Health IT to Mobilize Data for Pressure Ulcer Prevention

Judy Murphy | July 17, 2013

As many of you know, ONC has sponsored several health and health care related mobile app and video development challenges over the past few years with the goal of providing tools and information to both patients and consumers that can help them better manage their health and care.  From the Million Hearts Risk Check Challenge to the Blue Button video challenge, we believe that having more health information benefits patients and their doctors alike.

Background on the Pressure Ulcer Prevention App Challenge

With that goal in mind, we recently supported a challenge, also supported by the American Nurses Association (ANA),  to create a mobile app for nurses to use when completing and documenting their assessment and intervention for pressure ulcer risk and prevention.  On July 17th at the Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics (SINI), on behalf of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, I announced the winners of the Mobilizing Data for Pressure Ulcer Prevention Challenge.

The challenge sought to inspire the creation of mobile applications that would support nurses and their patients’ health care teams to reduce the incidence and severity of pressure ulcers, as well as to aid in pressure ulcer prevention.

The secondary goal of the challenge was to encourage the use of information exchange standards and promote the continued integration of nursing content into SNOMED CT.

The review panel, which included representatives from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Kaiser Permanente, and Aurora Health Care, as well as ONC, selected three winners based on criteria that included:

  • design and usability,
  • use of National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) guidance, and
  • application of the HL7 Pressure Ulcer Prevention Domain Analysis Model.

The Winners of the Pressure Ulcer Prevention App Challenge

I am pleased to announce that first place in the Pressure Ulcer Prevention App Challenge was awarded to WoundMAP PumpExternal Links Disclaimer by MobileHealthWare .

WoundMAP Pump is an iOS application that provides an easy to use and intuitive interface that features a standardized approach to bedside pressure ulcer assessment based on the NPUAP guidance.

The app includes an innovative image capture and wound measurement system.  It also auto-fills patient and pressure ulcer information such as:

  • dimensions,
  • skin color,
  • temperature, and
  • moisture during the wound evaluation.

Wound progression can be seen through both the automatic graphing of wound dimensions and through the time-lapse display of photos.

It also successfully applies the HL7 Pressure Ulcer Domain Analysis Model and SNOMED bindings from the Federal Health Information Model site.

DermtapExternal Links Disclaimer claimed second place in the Pressure Ulcer Prevention App Challenge with the Ulcercare application. The Ulcercare app uses their proprietary platform to integrate with EHR/PHRs and third party mobile apps and sensors.

In third place, the IOSTREAM team created Wound MenderExternal Links Disclaimer, a website that both patients and their care teams can use to store, access, and distribute pressure ulcer risk assessment data.

MobileHealthWare won $60,000 for its first-place finish; Dermtap and IOSTREAM won $15,000 and $5,000, respectively.

All three of these companies demonstrated innovative ways to:

  • use mobile health IT to make a difference in the quality of nursing care delivery, and
  • aid in pressure ulcer care prevention.

I encourage you to view videosExternal Links Disclaimer of these creative winning applications.

For a listing of all ONC challenges, visit