Data Unleashed Against Cancer

Both winning entries rely on publicly available data and existing technology, the Health and Human Services Department says in a issued Wednesday. The winners presented their submissions that day at the Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences. Each was awarded $20,000 by ONC.

Two teams using health IT tools to help prevent and treat cancer have been named winners in an Investing in Innovation (i2) challenge sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

Winners of the "Using Public Data for Cancer Prevention and Control: From Innovation to Impact" competition are:

  • Ask Dory!, which helps patients learn about clinical trials for cancer and other diseases, using data from www.ClinicalTrials.gov and an algorithm to aid decision-making. The application was submitted by Chintan Patel, Dr. Sharib Khan, and Aamir Hussain of Applied Informatics LLC.
  • My Cancer Genome provides options for therapy based on gene mutations in the patient's tumor. It uses clinical trial data from the National Cancer Institute and gene information under evaluation in therapeutic clinical trials. It was submitted by Dr. Mia Levy of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
news release

"What makes these health IT challenges so powerful is their ability to catalyze the expertise and creativity of innovators both in and out of health care," says Wil Yu, ONC's special assistant for innovations. "We seek breakthrough solutions to nuanced issues. Some are ready for the marketplace and some are prototypes, but all will have a great potential to benefit Americans."

The other two finalists were Health Owl, which makes tailored recommendations on cancer-screening and decision-making based on family history and demographic variables, submitted by Michael Diefenbach and Kevin Durr; and Cancer App, by mHealth solutions, which provides personalized strategies for reducing cancer risk, submitted by Ralph Passarella.

The i2 cancer challenge was supported by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

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