HHS Awards $20K to Cancer Challenge Winners

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology awarded $20,000 to the two winners of the Department of Health and Human Services public data and cancer challenge.

The two winners presented their submissions yesterday during a symposium yesterday at the Hawaii International Conference on Systems and Sciences.

“What makes these health IT challenges so powerful is their ability to catalyze the expertise and creativity of innovators both in and out of health care,” said Wil Yu, ONC’s special assistant for innovations. “We seek breakthrough solutions to nuanced issues; some are ready for the marketplace and some are prototypes, but all will have a great potential to benefit Americans. Ask Dory and My Cancer Genome are examples of results that innovation challenges can incentivize and deliver – we’re really excited to see their impact.”

The winners, who both created applications that use public data and existing technology to help patients and health care professionals prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancer.

  • Ask Dory! – submitted by Chintan Patel, Ph.D.; Sharib Khan, M.D., M.A., M.P.H.; and Aamir Hussain of Applied Informatics LLC – helps patients find information about clinical trials for cancer and other diseases, integrating data from and making use of an entropy-based, decision-tree algorithm.  A functional demonstration of the application is available at
  • My Cancer Genome – submitted by Mia Levy, Ph.D., M.D., of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center – provides therapeutic options based on the individual patient’s tumor gene mutations, making use of the NCI’s physician data query clinical trial registry data set and information on genes being evaluated in therapeutic clinical trials.  The app is in operation at

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