ROCKVILLE, Md. – The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has launched the AHRQ Step Up App Challenge, a three-phase competition to address the need for greater use of standardized patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data in clinical care and research. The total prize pool for the challenge is $250,000.
PRO data are defined as any report on the status of a patient’s health condition that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or other medical expert, said Gopal Khanna, AHRQ director, in a statement. The data can yield insights into health status, function, symptom burden, adherence, health behaviors and quality of life.
“While some digital tools exist to collect these data, they are not in wide use due to problems with integrating them in practice workflow, as well as patients’ discomfort with using such tools,” said Khanna. “This competition will address this issue and result in a user-friendly app that can enhance health care data collection and thereby improve the quality of care for all Americans.”
The Step Up App Challenge is part of AHRQ’s ongoing effort to help shape the U.S. digital health care ecosystem and improve outcomes through the broader use of patient data. In partnership with AHRQ, the Office of the Secretary is providing financial support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Trust Fund, and the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is leading stakeholder efforts to develop the technical specifications for the Step Up App Challenge.
The AHRQ Step Up App Challenge is looking for innovative technologists who can develop and present user-friendly apps capable of collecting standardized PRO data in various ambulatory settings, including primary and specialty care. The winning app will be tested in nine practice settings affiliated with MedStar Health in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
The deadline for submitting app ideas is September 24.