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An App a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: HHS Issues Healthy App Challenge

Image: cs.iusb.edu, Elnur

In the latest push to raise awareness of preventable diseases and promote healthy living, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called on the usual doctors and nurses to lend their support.

But she also implored another group:  software developers.

This year, as the agency kick starts its new health promotion agenda, Healthy People 2020, Sebelius wants to make sure helpful, easy-to-use software applications join the stethoscope and the heart monitor as the indispensable tools at doctors’ disposal.

The app platform known as myHealthyPeople puts a new spin on the 30-year-old Healthy People program, which aims to raise awareness of preventable diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.

The apps will be used by medical professionals using new national health data and objectives, as well as state and community health data.

The Gov 2.0 angle fits in with the revamped agenda, which now includes renewed focus on new health topics, such as sleep health and genomics.

“The launch of Healthy People 2020 comes at a critical time,” Sebelius said, adding the challenge and opportunity for HHS is to avoid preventable diseases in the first place.

HHS Chief Technology Officer Todd Park said the apps challenge was a way to make the agenda “come alive” for people.

“The myHealthyPeople apps challenge will help spur innovative approaches to helping communities track their progress using Healthy People objectives and targets,” he said, “as well as develop an agenda for health improvement.”

Information about the healthy apps is available on challenge.gov. Submissions from developers are due by March 8, 2011.

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One comment

  1. Mixing health awareness and apps together is a great move. Apps are more popular now than ever before with new platforms joining the mix to compete against each other. Healthy Apps can be used to help inform the general public as well as the medical professionals using apps to better serve their clients. I look forward to reading more about this and watching the program grow with the app market. I hope they found some great developers to do the program justice.

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