SMArt Prize for Patients, Physicians, and Researchers

This week a research team at Children’s Hospital of Boston and Harvard Medical School launched a prize to encourage innovative app developers to build new products and services that benefit patients and providers. The prize was created with funding from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT within the Department of Health and Human Services, and constitutes just the latest in a growing number of examples of the Federal government fostering R&D collaboration through open innovation.

The SMArt Prize competition could speed innovation in any number of areas. Developers might build a medication manager, a health risk detector, a laboratory visualization tool, or an app that integrates, in real time, patient data with external data sources—such as publication data in PubMed, CDC statistics, environmental data, financial data available at In doing so, SMArt promises to help patients, doctors, and others realize the full potential of information technology to help transform how we manage health and healthcare.

The best app developed for the SMArt API by May 31 will win a $5,000 prize, as determined by an all-star panel of judges including:

  • Susannah Fox (Director of Health Research, Pew Internet & American Life Project)
  • Regina Herzlinger (Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School)
  • David C. Kibbe (Chair, ASTM International E31 Technical Committee on Healthcare Informatics; Principal, The Kibbe Group LLC; Senior Advisor, American Academy of Family Physicians)
  • Ben Shneiderman (Professor of Computer Science at the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, University of Maryland, College Park)
  • Doug Solomon (Chief Technology Officer, IDEO)
  • Edward Tufte (Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Statistics, and Computer Science, Yale University)
  • Jim Walker (Chief Health Information Officer, Geisinger Health Systems)

This endeavor is an example of why I share Bryan Roberts’ view that the stage is now set for dramatic jumps in healthcare innovation.  The evolving ecosystem of health IT will be further expanded by modular architectures, open APIs and the applications that can engage them.  This development will dramatically expand the market for health IT by offering applications that can meet any niche and any need - from individual consumers to small practices to large organizations—thereby  making the transformative power of health IT felt more fully and broadly. 

We look forward to celebrating all those who compete! 

Aneesh Chopra is the U.S. Chief Technology Officer

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