HHS announces the winners of the reducing cancer among women of color challenge

 Apps help undeserved and minority women take control of their health

Source: Department of Health and Human Services

HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE announced the winners of the Reducing Cancer Among Women of Color Challenge. A first-of-its-kind effort to address health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities, the winning apps will help women of color prevent and fight cancer.

The winning apps, Big Yellow Star, Broadstone Technologies, Appbrahma, HW-Technology, and Netzealous, are designed to help women of color prevent and fight cancer by linking them to information regarding preventive and screening services and locations, including support groups and care services.

The apps all focus on providing high-quality health information in different languages to women and community health workers about screening and preventive services. The apps were developed to interface securely with patient health records and strengthen communication across a patient’s care team in an effort to better coordinate information and care.

“This challenge created an innovative opportunity to use new technologies and new platforms to engage women in communities that have too often been dismissed as ‘hard-to-reach,’” Dr. Gracia said.  “Through these innovative tools, we are addressing disparities by reaching women where they are – and taking an exciting step forward in implementing the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.”

“The Reducing Cancer Among Women of Color Challenge is a great example of the positive impact health information technology can make.  Getting timely cancer preventive and treatment information to patients has always been an effective strategy.  The winners of this challenge increase our capacity to empower women across a broad socioeconomic spectrum,” said David Hunt, M.D., F.A.C.S., medical director of health IT adoption & patient safety at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

In the United States, breast and gynecologic cancers are responsible for more than 68,000 deaths each year with over 300,000 new diagnoses made each year. Women of color are disproportionately affected due to various reasons, including the inability to access health care and preventive information, services, referral, and treatment.

The Reducing Cancer among Women of Color Challenge is a partnership between HHS’ Office of Minority Health and ONC.  It challenged innovators and developers to create a mobile device-optimized tool that engages and empowers women to improve the prevention and treatment of breast, cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancer in underserved and minority communities and that can interface with provider electronic health records.

Submissions were reviewed and judged based on:

  • Patient engagement
  • Quality and accessibility of information
  • Targeted and actionable information
  • Links to online communities and/or social media
  • Innovativeness and usability
  • Non-English language availability


To learn more about the app challenge, the winners, and information on how to download the winning apps please visit:
http://challenge.gov/ONC/402-reducing-cancer-among-women-of-color and http://www.health2con.com/devchallenge/reducing-cancer-among-women-color-challenge/