Celebrating Innovative Health Promotion Apps – Winners of the SG Challenge

In her piece called “The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation”, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin said, “I envision men, women, and children who are mentally and physically fit to live their lives to the fullest. We must help our communities make the important and life-saving connection between being healthy, fit and living well.” To encourage innovators to create cool and fun mobile apps that empower individuals to make healthy choices, the Office of the Surgeon General launched the Surgeon General’s Healthy App Challenge last December in collaboration with the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). We had a tremendous response to this competition with more than 80 apps submitted. Many thanks to the all-star panelists (Michelle Kwan, Wayne Jonas, Cornell McClellan, Farzad Mostashari, Todd Park, Shellie Pfohl,) who reviewed the submitted apps. You can find the winners at www.challenge.gov; the apps can be downloaded free for all to access. We encourage all Americans to check out the winning apps and use them, just as the Surgeon General will do in her Journey to Joy. There are two apps that provide ways for children to learn about and make healthy choices, and these are highlighted as honorable mentions. Find out what app is right to help you to live and maintain a healthier life. Most of all, have fun and enjoy living healthier. The nation’s first National Prevention Strategy, release by the Surgeon General in June 2011, provides a national plan for better health and wellness with the goal of increasing the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life.  It is our hope that this competition not only empowers the public to live healthy and fit lives, but also inspires technology developers to create and further refine cool tools and apps that all can use to become healthier. While this challenge focused on physical activity, healthy eating and integrated health, there are also cool apps available to help people stop smoking; check out the National Cancer Institute’s new “QuitSTART” app in iTunes and the SmokeFreeTXT program. You can now follow the Surgeon General on Twitter – @SGRegina – in her Journey to Joy. Follow, tweet, and re-tweet the Surgeon General.  Also, let us know what you think of the winning apps.  If you have a favorite app, dial in your comments below. Let your voice be heard and live healthy, fit and well.