HHS is challenging app developers to create new tools to help cancer survivors with the Crowds Care for Cancer: Supporting Survivors Challenge. The challenge is sponsored by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). It asks app developers to create new tools meant to help survivors manage their care after they have completed cancer treatment.
HHS has had a series of developer contests that have spawned the creation of tools and apps to help patients and doctors better manage care. Some past app challenges include:
- Million Hearts Risk Check Challenge
- Blue Button Mash Up Challenge, and
- Ensuring Safe Transitions Challenge.
Cancer patients need more care coordination
The number of cancer survivors in the United States (U.S.) is currently estimated at 14 million people. With improvements in cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as the aging of the U.S. population, this number is expected to rise.
While celebrating advances in cancer care, there remains a need to help patients manage their health after they have completed their primary treatment. Cancer survivors experience a host of physical and psychosocial long-term and late effects of the disease, and it’s the treatment of this that requires coordinated follow-up care.
Despite significant progress in cancer treatment, the complex and often fragmented state of end-of-treatment care may lead to harmful breakdowns in patient-provider communication. This can result in unmet health care needs. Better communication, data exchange, and care coordination have been shown to help the patients.
Participate in the developer contest to help improve communication for cancer survivors
ONC and NCI are calling on app developers for innovative solutions to address specific challenges that cancer survivors encounter when managing their care.
The following examples illustrate just a few potential ideas that an app could address:
- Help survivors use information from their providers and survivorship care plans to improve communication within their care teams (such as ., families, friends, and members of their primary and specialty care teams)
- Address follow-up care needs such as helping patients track their medications and medication adherence, upcoming appointments, and healthy lifestyle recommendations
- Implement key sources of health data and interoperability standards such as Blue Button+ .
Challenge organizers are also encouraging applicants to consider different ways to seamlessly integrate tools and information into the daily lives of patient. The intention is to help survivors in the communication and coordination of care with all members of their care team.
To learn more about the Challenge and to enter a submission, visit Challenge.gov.