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ONC Has Another New Contest–Toss Another App Out to the Consumers, But Hey Around 69% of all Mobile Apps Have Just Been Re

Posted Aug 29 2013 3:58am

This may be an odd time for such a contest as you really have to look and see what apps are “really” getting used.  They take time to use and people seem to forget that and there are good ones out there but there’s a ton of “me too’s” and the Quantified Self folks seem to think you should be using all of them that are out there (grin).  Remember the guy who tried this and almost killed himself in the process?  It was a pretty good story as he did show how much “work” it took to use a truckload of apps to improve his health…and it’s didn’t do that.  We need some balance and realize that apps can help but a lot of times the very developers that create them, don’t use them either..now that’s a big oxymoron and once the app appears there will be many magpies on the social networks who won’t use it either but they lecture you to death on why you should use it (see it all the time)…funny. 

We don’t have very good role models at HHS and I started that line of thought back in 2010 and that combined with a ton of Algo Duping out there thinking that apps are the complete answer adds to all of this.  So great, let’s get some more apps out there (grin).  This is being headed up by an analyst at the ONC and I wonder how many apps he uses:)

HHS Secretary Sebelius Still Looking for Tech Breakthroughs To Save the Day
HHS National Plan to Improve Health Literacy – Not Going To Happen Until We Focus on Using Technology (The Tool for Literacy) Which Includes Role Models at HHS And Other Places in Government

I said a while back that the ONC would be wise to be it’s own entity under the FDA as right now all are disputing as to who should control mHealth devices and the analysts and bean counter type of would have access to the folks at the FDA who look at safety and a lot of the “human” side so we wouldn’t have as much “algo duping” going on as the FDA approach leans more toward some common sense on what works.  Dr. Hamburg does well and being a doctor herself she’s in touch with the human side and doesn’t get too duped out there, good leadership.  Good example of her commencement speech from last year.  This would be a good mix as we would get the best of both worlds and not exhorted by “here’s an app to fix you”. 

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg Delivers Commencement Address at Albert Einstein College of Medicine–Video

Anybody feeling any love yet?  Really when you read and watch what is going on like that Facebook HHS contest a couple years ago you do have to wonder what goes on with some of this thinking?  Again, I want to see all at the ONC uses these apps too (grin).  I do like the FDA mobile app because it’s useful, check it out .  I like the Tri-Coder app/device that’s in the works too.  Anyway the ONC folks would do well to work as a team with the FDA and vice versa. 

mHealth Why Battle Over Where the Responsibility Lies, Make the ONC A Division of the FDA, Better Collaboration and Software Engineering Exposure Both Ways Around

Not too long ago I wrote about an app for depression that was originally financed by the NIH and it’s that sells data too, so please let’s be real here and get real consumer apps out there.  If you haven’t noticed, the apps contest are slowly dying as well as the apps.  So get get those Quantified Self analysts over there with the real FDA regulators, scientists and researchers and you might get some nice blended ideas coming forward.  Everyone is not going to be a “quantified self” so we can’t expect that and we need to realize that just tossing another app at folks is not the answer, you still need the human element and balance here. 

So the winners get to to to the White House on this contest, and is Obama going to use the app too to handle his depression or other mental issues (grin)…you need to give some real thought to some of these things as again the Algo Duping and the old routine of tossing numbers at people is pushing things to the edge of where a software model begins and how it will function in the real world.  I want to know “how many people are going to use and benefit from an app?  I don’t want yet another one that sells data for sure as that’s another epidemic of it’s own that’s now even ripping at the economy with way too many using models to “flips algorithms” for profit, and nobody checks the models.    BD


The Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT has opened a new application challenge – this one designed to arm patients with technology that helps them manage behavioral healthcare and extend treatment to more patients.

But the Behavioral Health Patient Empowerment Challenge , conducted with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH, is not so much a developer contest as a call for existing mobile apps — in a rather tight timeframe.

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