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12/3/2010
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HHS Challenges Developers To Create Healthcare Apps

The myHealthyPeople competition will award prizes for software that supports the Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2020 goals.

15 Healthy Mobile Apps
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: 15 Healthy Mobile Apps

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has unveiled Healthy People 2020, the nation's new 10-year plan to improve the health of all Americans, and to strengthen its chances of meeting its goals, the department also announced a competition called "myHealthyPeople," which asks application developers to create and submit easy-to-use software applications to support the initiative.

Thursday's announcement comes at a time when healthcare stakeholders in both the public and private sector are eagerly working toward accelerating the adoption of a wide range of technologies including electronic health records and telehealth devices that will monitor patients, improve the quality of care, reduce costs and create greater efficiencies throughout the healthcare system.

By combining the national objectives established under the Healthy People 2020 initiative with innovative software applications, HHS officials hope to more aggressively push the goals and objectives for health promotion and disease prevention across the public health system with a special focus on lower income populations that often suffer from high rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic diseases.

According to HHS, for the past 30 years Healthy People has been committed to improving the nation's quality of health by producing a framework for public health prevention priorities and actions. One statistic that provides a ray of hope is that, over the last decade, preliminary analysis indicates that the country has either progressed toward or met 71% of its Healthy People targets.

"The launch of Healthy People 2020 comes at a critical time," HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. "Our challenge and opportunity is to avoid preventable diseases from occurring in the first place."

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