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April 30, 2013
Contact: HHS Press Office

Lyfechannel wins the healthfinder.gov Mobile App Challenge

App helps families make informed decisions about their health

HHS Assistant Secretary for Health, Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, today announced Lyfechannel as the winner of the healthfinder.gov Mobile App Challenge. The winning app, called myfamily, will help individuals manage their family’s health through customized prevention information for each family member -- all in one tool.

The app, which focuses on the preventive care benefits and services covered by the Affordable Care Act, will empower individuals to take greater action to improve and maintain their family’s health. Users can find customized prevention information and tips for each member of their family, create personal health alerts, and keep track of medical check-ups and vaccinations. Research shows that patients who are better engaged in their own health care have better health outcomes and electronic tools can help them be better health consumers.

“This app helps put the power of prevention at the fingertips of Americans,” said Dr. Koh. “Families can now use healthfinder.gov preventive care information to make informed, personalized health care decisions right from their smart phone.”

The healthfinder.gov Mobile App Challenge was sponsored by the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and managed in coordination with healthcare technology company Health 2.0 and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It challenged developers and health professionals to work together to co-design a mobile application that makes healthfinder.gov content customizable and easy to use for prevention care planning. Healthfinder.gov provides reliable and actionable information on prevention and wellness topics, including the clinical preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act.  

During the first phase of the challenge, developers worked with end users, via a crowdsourcing platform called Health Tech Hatch (HTH), to build a working prototype.  More than 160 individuals registered as testers and provided more than 260 comments. Three finalists were selected from 26 submissions to move on to the second and final phase.

“For the first time during a challenge competition we went to end users during the development of the applications,” said Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer, HHS. “The use of crowdsourcing and feedback loops provided teams with critical information to develop a more useful application– not just another app – but a piece of technology that fulfills the needs of its users and improves health.”

Submissions were reviewed based on weighted criteria, including usability and design, evidence of co-design, innovation in design, functionality and accuracy, and healthfinder.gov branding. Particular emphasis was placed on the use of plain language and health literacy principles, as well as connecting users to healthfinder.gov information about clinical preventive services.

The myfamily app was developed by Lyfechannel, a small privately-held company that translates evidence-based health behavior and adherence studies into mobile patient experiences. Lyfechannel is headquartered in San Carlos, Calif.

For more information about the challenge winner and steps on downloading the app from iTunes, visit: www.healthfinder.gov/StayConnected.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: April 30, 2013

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