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Design Challenge: Putting Care in Context

Empowering Patients to Share Their Barriers to Good Health

A CHCF design challenge sought solutions to help patients take an active role in recognizing, chronicling, and sharing information about hurdles in their lives that affect their health.

Despite spending over two and a half times more per person on health than peer nations, the US suffers a major "health disadvantage," according to a 2013 report by the Institute of Medicine and titled US Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health. One reason for Americans' poor health outcomes is the minimal attention paid to the contextual issues that contribute to the onset and progression of disease — issues like hunger, poor housing conditions, stress, and isolation.

There is growing consensus that the health care system must understand the hurdles in a patient's life that impact their health in order to provide effective care, but there is not yet a good way to engage patients to proactively share this information.

CHCF partnered with Mad*Pow, a user-centered design agency, and Health 2.0 to present a design challenge aimed at helping patients recognize, chronicle, and share information about hurdles in their lives that impact health. Judges evaluated each submission on originality, how well it addressed the problem, consideration of audience needs, and overall quality.

The winning entries were:

  • First place ($5,000): Healthify. This web-based screening tool is used to assess patients' social and behavioral health risks, identify and quantify immediate needs, and refer patients to government and community programs to meet those needs. The platform's dashboard lets providers and care teams make more informed decisions about their patients' needs to better coordinate care and offers a texting solution to facilitate follow-up with patients.
  • Second place ($3,000): Share4Care. This design prototype for an iPad app would enable patients to document stress levels and issues in their lives while in a clinical waiting room. The Share4Care app would then calculate a "Life Change Score" that would cue the physician to ask about factors that could impact the patient's health.
  • Third place ($2,000): MyDay Media Messaging Journal. Patients use this web-based platform to document barriers to health through photos and text messages. The MyDay website and mobile app enable providers to view patients' journal entries and follow-up to build patient-provider rapport, clarify journal entry content, and connect patients with resources.

For more information on the challenge and to see all submissions, visit the Health 2.0 website through the External Link below.