Student Contest Spurs Competition Among Health App Developers

What better way to pay for school than to create an innovative health-related mobile application? An ongoing contest sponsored by the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering offers students pursuing degrees in health, engineering, and computer science the opportunity to do just that—and is offering a top prize of $10,000.

"Go Viral to Improve Health" requires participating students to work in interdisciplinary teams and convert health data into mobile apps, online tools or games, or other innovative products meant to simplify the lives of health care professionals and their patients.

To qualify, teams must include two to five undergraduate or graduate students, including at least one member who is pursuing a health-related degree and one who is pursuing a degree in computer science, engineering, or a related discipline. Their efforts will be evaluated based on the application’s design and effectiveness, as well as how well public health data is integrated into the product.

The students must incorporate information from the Health Indicators Warehouse, a wide collection of health data and indicator sets made available by the US Department of Health and Human Services, into their application. Use of additional data sources is encouraged as well.

The team with the best app will win a $10,000 prize, along with the opportunity to reveal their technology during the plenary session of Health Datapalooza, the third Health Data Initiative Forum, which will take place June 5–6 in Washington, DC. The second and third place teams will receive cash prizes of $5,000 and $3,000, respectively, and will also have a chance to display their products at the event.

The registration deadline is February 10, 2012.

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