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December 3, 2012 at Noon  ET 


   Contact:  Robin Strongin 202-263-2917
rstrongin@amplifypublicaffairs.net

Five Innovators Selected as Finalists in Challenge to Develop App to Improve Blood Pressure Control, Cholesterol Management

WASHINGTON D.C. – (Virtual Press Office) -- Sponsors of the Million Hearts Risk Check Challenge have selected five finalists in the competition to develop an application to support the prevention of one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Surescripts CEO Harry Totonis named the finalists at the annual mHealth Summit, taking place this week at the National Harbor facility in the Washington, DC area. Other sponsors of the challenge are the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the Million HeartsTM initiative, and Archimedes, Inc., a health care modeling company. 

The five finalists are:

mHealthCoach, LLC
App: FLORNCE Healthy Heart Coach
Web, iOS, Android, Facebook

XLBao Lab
App: Know Your Heart
Web, iOS, Android

Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation
App: HeartHealth Mobile

iOS
Alexander Blair and team
App: Heart Spotters
Web

PharmaSmart International Inc.
App: PharmaSmart
Web, SMS/Text

"The Million Hearts objective, to sharply reduce heart attacks and strokes, is an ambitious and necessary one. To achieve this goal, the use of data transmission and mobile communications technologies is essential," said Totonis. "Through digital interoperability, we can enable millions of smartphone users to conduct their own health risk assessments and then find the nearest pharmacy that offers health screenings.  Through these apps, information begets health and knowledge begets wellness."

Totonis was joined at the announcement by National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Farzad Mostashari, M.D., Sc.M., Janet Wright, M.D., executive director of Million Hearts, and Archimedes' vice president Josh Adler. ONC and Million HeartsTM are part of the federal  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The winning application will be announced in January 2013. In February, the cities of Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Tulsa will launch education campaigns encouraging their citizens to get cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, better understand their risk for heart attack and stroke, and take steps to lower their risk. All five finalists have agreed to allow use of their apps free of charge throughout 2013.

"Using the latest technology to empower Americans to assess and improve their heart health is critical to reaching our goal of reducing disability and deaths from heart disease and strokes," said Janet Wright, M.D., FACC, executive director of the Million HeartsTM initiative. "My hope is that this is the first of many apps that will make it easier for consumers to get information about how to improve heart health and eventually share it with their health care professionals."

The Million HeartsTM Risk Check Challenge is part of the federal government's Investing in Innovation (i2) program, which uses prizes and challenges to facilitate innovation among public and private partners and find solutions to intractable health IT problems.

"This challenge makes the most advanced analytics of health care information available to consumers through their smartphones; the same analytics being used by the nation's top researchers and health care systems," said Dr. Mostashari. "Thirty-five teams competed to develop tools that use this information to help patients better manage their health care. The top five we are announcing today are one step closer to providing the applications that will be promoted to consumers as part of the pilot education campaign."

The five applications all use a new Archimedes IndiGO Application Programming Interface (API) for conducting health risk assessments over a consumer-facing interface.   

"Archimedes believes that one of the most important factors in improving patient outcomes is the direct engagement of the individual in the health care decision-making process," says Josh Adler, vice president, Archimedes, Inc. "Informing consumers about their risks of heart attack and stroke, and the actions that can help reduce those risks, gives individuals a greater sense of ownership in their care decisions--which can lead to improvements in adherence and health outcomes."

The mHealth Summit, of which Surescripts is a sponsor, brings together leaders from multiple public and private sectors to collaborate on wireless technologies that can improve health outcomes in the United States.

About Surescripts

The Surescripts network supports a comprehensive ecosystem of health care organizations nationwide. Many pharmacies, payers, pharmacy benefit managers, physicians, hospitals, health information exchanges and health technology firms rely on Surescripts to more easily and securely share health information. Guided by the principles of neutrality, transparency, physician and patient choice, open standards, collaboration and privacy, Surescripts operates the nation's largest health information network. By providing information for routine, recurring and emergency care, Surescripts is committed to saving lives, improving efficiency and reducing the cost of health care for all. For more information, go to www.surescripts.com and follow us at twitter.com/surescripts.

About Million Hearts

The Million Hearts initiative is a national public-private collaboration of HHS, co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. With other public and private partners, the initiative is leveraging clinical and community prevention strategies to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Central to the goal is increasing the numbers of Americans who improve on the ABCS:

  • Aspirin as appropriate
  • Blood pressure control
  • Cholesterol management
  • Smoking cessation

About ONC

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, part of the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is at the forefront of the administration's health IT efforts and is a resource to the entire health system to support the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care. 

About Archimedes

Archimedes Inc. is a healthcare modeling organization. Its core technology - the Archimedes Model - is a clinically realistic, mathematical model of human physiology, diseases, interventions and healthcare systems. Archimedes continually validates the Model by comparing the results of simulated trials to the results of multi-national clinical trials and cohort studies. Through products such as IndiGO and ARCHeS, Archimedes works to help people understand the implications of their decisions. For the last 15 years, Archimedes has assisted health plans, health systems, medical groups, patients, pharmaceutical companies, researchers, and other organizations in the United States and Europe answer questions related to health and economic outcomes research, policy creation, clinical trial design, and performance improvement.  Archimedes, part of Kaiser Permanente, is based in San Francisco, California.

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