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ONC funds developer challenge to spur health IT innovation

Government Health IT, June 10, 2011

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has launched a program to spur innovation that uses prizes and developer competitions to expedite the creation of tools to solve health IT challenges. Under the Investing in Innovations (i2) Initiative, ONC has awarded about $5 million to the Capital Consulting Corp., a professional management services company, and Health 2.0 LLC, a company that hosts code-a-thons and conferences, to fund projects for two years supporting breakthroughs in research and encouraging health IT development through open innovation methods. The use of prizes and competitions is widely regarded as a powerful method to attract innovators from all walks of life to solve thorny problems with the added benefit of only rewarding best-in-class work, according to the ONC June 8 announcement. The approach enables quick response to emerging issues that are difficult to address with more traditional funding approaches.