Instead of running challenges, why doesn’t ONC create the solution itself?
Challenges serve purposes beyond the creation of innovations and solutions to problems in health IT. They allow ONC to highlight specific programs, activities, and areas in need of development. Drawing attention to these areas can help stimulate private sector investment that may otherwise have been lacking. Awarding prizes to individuals and teams who solve a problem can motivate and inspire others who have not participated in such efforts or do not think of the government as a hotbed of innovation. Challenges help us reach out to communities that have not previously considered working on health IT problems, even though their expertise in other subject areas may lend itself well to thinking about these issues; the application of other experiences can produce the out-of-the-box thinking needed to create genuine innovation.