This past Saturday, the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge Code-a-thon came to the Bay Area. Hundreds of developers, designers, doctors, and high-level government employees converged on Google HQ to discuss and create health-related apps. Our CEO and co-Founder Walter Luh also was on hand, and spoke to the crowd about the power of the mobile platform. Walter spoke after Google’s Roni Zeiger and before Sean Duffy and Zhen Zeng of IDEO.

The Health 2.0 Developer Challenge is an initiative launched in conjunction with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services to encourage innovation using newly-opened government data sets. (the same data sets utilized by our own Pillbox app)

With that, we have a couple great points to report back to you:

  1. Developers who solve any one of the defined healthcare issues — including one put forth by the National Cancer Institute — will be rewarded with prize money and some highly-esteemed recognition to their name. Some of you enterprising developers with a working knowledge of healthcare or even general statistics/record-keeping could turn this into quite the fruitful endeavor!
  2. A little further down the line (beginning April 2011) is another, similar program from the McKesson Foundation. Their $1.5 million Mobilizing For Health initiative provides grants to charities or universities to further the field of mHealth — a term describing the practice of medicine supported by mobile devices. (e.g. for patient info, drug chemistry, etc.)  McKesson Foundation President Carrie Varoquiers recently elaborated on details of the initiative and how to get involved.

You’ve already seen how quickly and effectively we made an app to tackle a given medical issue. So, why not take a shot at it yourselves?

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