Health IT Prizes & Challenges

Government-sponsored prizes challenges serve an important role in stimulating innovation throughout industries, spurring improvements to both processes and technologies. ONC pursues prize challenge competitions to address needs related to the use of health IT in the United States.

We believe that you, and your ideas, can further the role that technology plays in promoting high quality, affordable care for Americans.

Process Innovation and Technology Innovation Challenges

ONC believes that competitions have many potential benefits. Under the right circumstances, they allow the government to:

  • Establish an important goal without having to choose the approach or the team that is most likely to succeed
  • Increase the number and diversity of the individuals, organizations, and teams that are addressing a particular problem or challenge of national significance
  • Stimulate private sector investment that is many times greater than the cash value of the award
  • Further a federal agency’s mission by attracting more interest and attention to a defined program, activity, or issue of concern

The competitions focus on innovations that support (1) ONC’s aim to clear hurdles related to the achievement of widespread health IT adoption and interoperability, (2) ONC’s and HHS’ programs and programmatic goals, and (3) the achievement of a nationwide health IT system that improves quality, safety, and/or efficiency of health care.

The America Competes Act, passed in December 2010, permits any federal agency head to “carry out a program to award prizes competitively to stimulate innovation.” With this authority, The Office of The National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) created the prizes and challenges program.