How do you determine what qualifies as a challenge?

Challenge proposals must fit several criteria to proceed with further development. Most importantly, challenges must support the achievement of ONC and HHS strategic goals and have the potential to significantly impact public health. An idea for a challenge needs to create a solution that does not already exist or solves a problem in which there are no existing solutions that sufficiently address the problem.

Successful challenges are those that leave potential solvers with plenty of room to use their creativity and experiences both inside and outside of healthcare to craft something original. The core idea must be able to be simplified and abstracted in such a way that individuals in adjacent, non-health domains can understand it. This keeps the problem comprehensible for all potential solvers and makes it less intimidating for those with non-health experience – an important consideration, as research has demonstrated that problems are most frequently solved by those outside of the subject domain.

Additional criteria include the potential for breakthrough innovation, technical complexity and difficulty, and how much the topic area is in need of increased attention and development.

Content last reviewed on June 3, 2013
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