Crowd-sourcing, Crowd-voting, and Co-designing with Patients

Rebecca Mitchell Coelius | June 12, 2013

Those of us in ONC’s Division of Science and Innovation are excited to announce the Blue Button Co-Design Challenge. We want to use this challenge to amplify the voices of patients and caregivers across the country with stories to tell and problems that can be solved by access to their clinical and financial health data. Our hope is that providers, data holders, and health IT entrepreneurs hear the message loud and clear; patients need access to this data, and they know how they want to use it.

Blue Button is a symbol and international movement around all people having access to their clinical and financial health information. Through hard work over this past year and with Meaningful Use Stage 2, patients will soon have the ability to liberate their data in a secure and machine-readable format, and send that data to applications and tools they select to help them care for themselves and their family. This is a massive step forward for a patient’s right to their data, and all of the entrepreneurs working to make the lives of patients and caregivers better.

Through June 14th – and that’s FRIDAY! – we invite patients and caregivers to shareExternal Links Disclaimer why they want access to their data, and what tools and applications they need to effectively use it. We’ve already been blown away by the number of people who have already submitted ideas in the first six days alone, with over 952 patients or caregivers sending in their ideas and voting, and more than 3,000 visits to the site. The leading idea currently has over 900 votes!

In the words of Adam Wong, Program Manager for ONC Challenges, “We are proud and excited to see such an amazing response to the Blue Button Co-Design Challenge. It demonstrates how enthused the consumer community is to take charge of their data, their health, and the health of their loved ones.” The Blue Button Co-Design Challenge builds upon previous ONC activities to support consumer health and patient access to their data. These include Challenges such as Blue Button for All Americans, the Blue Button Mash Up Challenge, and the Health Design Challenge.

After the voting ends on Friday, the top patient and caregiver ideas will become three priority use cases, which we will challenge developers to build over the summer with Blue Button Plus standards for secure and machine-readable data transfer. After the competition closes August 5th, a combination of crowd voting and a patient judging panel will determine who built the most useful and well-designed patient product and deserves a piece of $35,000 in total prizes.

A special facet of this competition is an emphasis on patient co-design. During the summer, the first dozen or so developer teams (the exact number is pending based on the number of patients that will be taking part) will have access to real patients for product feedback and iteration through the Health Tech Hatch co-design platform. If you are a patient or caregiver interested in being part of the compensated co-design process, please email: info@healthtechhatch.com

We encourage patients who want to be more deeply involved to pair up with a developer and compete in the Challenge!

In addition to the patient application category, we will also be awarding $15,000 in total prizes to open source tools that make implementing Blue Button Plus standards easier for future developers. We thank all of the developers who have already shared tools that make Blue Button Plus enablement easier for the whole community.

Patients and developers are creating an ecosystem, and we are thrilled to see major data holders stepping up to play their part in making sure that patients can send their data to patient-facing applications. That’s why we are pleased to announce that the New York eHealth Collaborative and MedXCom, which together represent thousands of physicians and tens of thousands of patients, are publicly committing to full Blue Button Plus enablement in 2013. We welcome additional data holders to make a commitment to this community and a patient’s right to their data this year.

Again, all the information about the Blue Button Co-Design Challenge can be found here.

Please join this movement by sharing your ideas and votes as a patient or caregiver, building these desired tools as a developer, and supporting a patient’s right to their data as providers and data holders!