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Maryland Students Targeted for UMD-hosted Mobile Health Competition

January 30, 2015
Contacts: 

Kenyon Crowley 919-649-2279
Greg Muraski 301-892-0973 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland high school and college students can create innovative solutions to such healthcare challenges as chronic-disease management or patient-provider information exchange through a competition organized by the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS), the Maryland Health Tech Coalition and MdBio Foundation, Inc.

Teams of up to 10 students from Maryland high schools or colleges can register now for the Innovate 4 Healthcare Challenge – themed “Empowering Patients, Providers and Community with Creative plus Usable Solutions.”  

Eligible Innovate 4 Healthcare Challenge competitors also include students enrolled in a Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation EARN health technology workforce development program or Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology-funded Workforce Development Program. 

Experts from UMD, the Maryland Health Tech Coalition and other organizations representing the state’s health technology ecosystem will mentor the teams. Competitors will create solutions that may, for example, enable patients to better track and manage their health or provide a faster and more efficient flow of information among patients and healthcare providers. 

The students will apply such technologies as mobile apps, wearable devices, accessories including pedometers and glucose meters, data analytical systems and social media. The solution scope is broad and designed to not limit students to any existing concepts.

Teams will submit their mhealth solutions – via a short summary, PowerPoint slide show, working version or mockup of prototype, and optional short video by April 3.  Selected finalists will present their solutions on June 4 at the Maryland Health IT Conference and Expo and vie for cash prizes in both high school and post-secondary categories: $2,000 for first place, $500 for two runners-up and $250 for fourth place.

The competition is part of a wider EARN-supported initiative – dubbed “mHealth-focused Health Tech Strategic Industry Partnership”– aimed at economic and workforce development in Maryland. The programs target Maryland healthcare workers, IT specialists, transitioning veterans, healthcare provider and payer executives who are developing and sharpening their mobile health technology skills and strategies.

"mhealth is a promising area as these tools, when implemented effectively, can work to reverse the tendency for healthcare consumers to disengage from taking care of their own health outside of the clinic and relying on their doctors to tell them what to do," said CHIDS founding director Ritu Agarwal, Robert H. Smith Dean's Chair of Information Systems and department chair of Decision, Operations and Information Technologies, in a recent announcement of the broader initiative. 

"Mobile technologies can flip that equation,” she added. “A healthcare system that supports engaged consumers who track and maintain information on themselves can lead to a more cost-efficient system where patients are watching out for themselves on a daily basis, and meeting with doctors only when there is a clinical need that requires expert intervention.” 

To register for the Innovate 4 Health Challenge, email chids@rhsmith.umd.edu with “CHALLENGE SIGNUP” in the subject line and include team-member names and affiliated school information.